(ANSA) - ROME, MAY 27 - A 22-year-old woman who got back from the Canary Islands Monday has become the first case of monkeypox in Liguria.
The woman, who lives at Levante Ligure, is believed to be either the tenth or 11th Italian case of the pox.
Several cases are linked to the Canary Islands.
Italy has around five million doses of vaccine effective against monkeypox and is ready for an eventual rise in contagion, Health Undersecretary Andrea Costa said on Friday, while stressing that the disease is very different to COVID-19.
"The Higher Health Institute (ISS) has said we already have five million doses available so we are ready to proceed if the need should arise," Costa told Rai television.
"We need to clearly say that we are not faced with an emergency with monkeypox.
"We are faced with a situation that must be focused on and monitored.
"The illness is not comparable with COVID and it does not hit the whole population because those who have been vaccinated for smallpox viruses, around 40% of the population, have a protection of around 85%".
Over 200 cases of the pox have been reported in some 20 countries, with many gay men affected.
In Italy there have been five or six cases in Lazio, three in Lombardy, one in Tuscany and one now in Liguria.