Monkeypox: the number of cases on the rise, who cares about vaccination?

Monkeypox: the number of cases on the rise, who cares about vaccination?

MONKEYPOX. As monkeypox cases rise in France, the Health Minister has been in favor of vaccinating caregivers and contact cases. The Internet user takes stock.

The essential

  • Monkeypox – also “Monkeypox” – is spreading and worrying. It is the subject of special attention by the WHO: to date, more than 100 cases of contamination have been identified in almost 20 countries around the world. In the UK, Spain and Portugal in particular, the virus is circulating more and more. The WHO has warned that the virus will spread more actively.
  • Five first cases of monkeypox have been identified in France. On May 24, the health agency indicates that these contaminations are related to “des hommes ayant des relations sexuelles avec des hommes” more “sans lies directs avec des personnes de retour de zone endémique”, to the knowledge of the Central Africa et de l ‘west.
  • On May 24, France’s High Health Authority unveiled its vaccine strategy to combat the spread of the virus in a press release. This vaccination will affect confirmed cases, that is, adults whose contact with an infected person is considered to be at risk. On RTL, Wednesday May 25, the Minister of Health, Brigitte Bourguignon, was in favor of vaccinating caregivers and contact cases against monkeypox.
  • Monkeypox is usually mild but can cause severe symptoms, especially in humans. It is life-threatening in very rare and very severe cases. There is no vaccine.
  • Santé Publique France investigated the monkeypox virus and gave some information: “Monkeypox is a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. Cases are often observed near tropical forests where there are animals that carry the virus”, indicates SPF, which adds: “Transmission occurs by direct contact with blood, body fluids or lesions of the skin or mucous membranes of infected animals, for example, by a bite or scratch”.
  • Transmission is seen “primarily in people who identify as gay or bisexual or in men who have sex with men,” the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) told the BBC on Sunday.

10:20 – More than 200 confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide

To date, 219 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported from 19 countries where the virus does not normally circulate endemically. This rapid circulation is beginning to worry scientists, but above all the European health authorities that are taking preventive measures, such as the United Kingdom (country with the most infections) that is launching a campaign to screen contact cases. In addition, Belgium has decreed a three-week total isolation of infected people.

More information

The General Directorate of Health (DSG) announced, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, the detection of two new cases of monkeypox in France, bringing the number of infected to 3. As during the first contamination, the Ministry of Health clarified that “As soon as his contagion was suspected, this person was treated. In the absence of seriousness, she is isolated at her home “. The first patient was “a 29-year-old man with no travel history to a country where the virus is circulating.” To stop the circulation of the virus, the health authorities announced that “Public Health France teams will carry out an in-depth epidemiological investigation” and that “people who have been in close contact with these patients are being identified.”

According to the first findings of the World Health Organization (WHO), monkeypox originated in central and western Africa. Countries like Nigeria or Cameroon would be the main sources of origin. Known since the 1970s, this disease usually develops in tropical areas. Seeing it develop in countries without this climate is a surprise to scientists.

Cases of monkeypox have been imported into Western countries since its discovery, including the United States, where they have remained “rare,” according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By spring 2003, cases had been confirmed in the country, thus marking the first occurrence of this disease outside of the African continent.

New cases of monkeypox are on the rise worldwide and the WHO has warned health authorities in all countries that an increase is expected. Below, find the data graphed by Ourworldindata, which allows you to visualize the evolution of the circulation of the disease.

The number of contaminations remains for the moment quite limited, we note in Europe a more important transmission phenomenon in the United Kingdom, unless the services of the health authorities have developed more efficient means to identify new cases of monkeypox. The map proposed by Ourdataworld makes it possible to measure the distortions in the spread of monkeypox in the different continents of the world.

England was the first to sound the alarm. A first monkeypox patient was identified there on May 7, a person returning from a trip to Nigeria. The British health security agency ensures that with the exception of the first case detected, the transmission among the other cases would have occurred within the country. Since then, the number of cases has steadily increased. Spain, Portugal, Canada and the United States, meanwhile, have reported having detected the presence of monkeypox, or what appears to be, in their territory. Sweden and Italy followed. About 20 countries are affected.

According to the World Health Organization, monkeypox is contracted by “eating undercooked meat from infected animals.” Indeed, originally, it is an infectious disease caused by a virus transmitted by animals, mainly rodents. Human transmission would be the result of contact with an already contaminated person or with their body fluids (saliva in particular).

But monkeypox can also be spread through close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions from an infected person, or objects recently contaminated with bodily fluids or material from a patient’s lesions. Sexual intercourse could spread the disease according to the British Health Security Agency. Therefore, protected relationships are recommended.

Symptoms resemble those of smallpox patients, but are milder. In the first 5 days, the infection causes several symptoms: fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes (adenopathy), back pain, muscle pain (myalgia), and exhaustion (asthenia).

Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) of the onset of fever, the patient develops rash symptoms that often begin on the face and then spread to other parts of the body, including the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and mucous membranes (mouth and genital area). Itching is common. The lesions go through different successive stages: macules, papules, vesicles, pustules and scabs. When the scabs fall off, people are no longer contagious. The other mucous membranes (ENT, conjunctiva) may also be affected. “The incubation of the disease can vary from 5 to 21 days. The fever phase lasts about 1 to 3 days. The disease, generally mild, most of the time heals spontaneously, after 2 to 3 weeks,” he emphasizes. Public Health France.

If the symptoms seem virulent, especially in men, the mortality rate remains low. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that “in general, the mortality rate has been between 1% and 10%, with the majority of deaths occurring among the youngest.” Two years after the start of the coronavirus epidemic, do we need to worry about the spread of a new virus? According to Antoine Gessain, head of the oncogenic virus epidemiology and pathophysiology unit at the Institut Pasteur, monkeypox presents only a low level of danger, as he explained to BFM-TV. No vaccination is necessary. He even wants to be reassuring: “there is not much risk of a major pandemic.”

Some countries quickly adopted measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The health authorities of Portugal and Spain have thus activated a national health alert. Italy said the situation was “under constant surveillance” and Swedish authorities “are now inquiring with the regional infection control centers to find out if there are more cases.”

Spain decided to take the initiative. The Iberian kingdom said on Thursday it was preparing to buy thousands of smallpox vaccines, normally intended to fight smallpox, an extremely serious disease that the WHO had declared eradicated in 1980. “We must find a way to quickly buy these vaccines because it is a very valuable tool to stop the epidemic”, Elena Andradas, general director of Public Health of the Community of Madrid, told the Madrid newspaper El País. This vaccine is not intended to be administered to the general population, but only to case contacts confirmed.

According to an article in La Tribune, at the end of 2012, France had a strategic stock of 1st generation vaccines of more than 82 million doses. These stocks have been maintained for 40 years by the Army Health Service (SSA).

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