Monkeypox: symptoms, vaccination, transmission... 7 points to understand this disease that is gaining ground

Monkeypox: symptoms, vaccination, transmission… 7 points to understand this disease that is gaining ground

France has registered a total of 2,171 declared cases of monkeypox, the Minister of Health, François Braun, announced this Tuesday, August 2, in the National Assembly, during questions to the government.

Concern about monkeypox is growing as the disease gains ground in the country. France now has more than 2,000 cases of monkeypox, according to the latest report from Public Health France on Tuesday.

In addition, there have been the first deaths of people infected by the virus outside the areas where it was already endemic. Deaths expected to rise, according to the WHO European Office. Update on what we know about the virus.

What is the transmission mode?

The monkeypox virus can be transmitted by direct contact with lesions on the skin or mucous membranes of a sick person, as well as by droplets (saliva, sneezing, crackling, etc.). the sex, with or without penetration, meet these contamination conditions, and having several partners increases the risk of exposure to the virus. In particular, direct contact with damaged skin during sexual intercourse facilitates transmission.

Contamination can also occur through contact with the patient’s environment (bedding, clothes, dishes, bathroom linen, etc.). Therefore, it is important that patients observe isolation throughout the duration of the disease (until the last scabs disappear, most often 3 weeks).

In central or western Africa, humans can also become infected through contact with animals, wild or captive, living or dead, such as rodents or monkeys, it details. French Public Health.

What are the symptoms?

Fever, headache, chills, fatigueswollen lymph nodes, back pain and muscle aches are the main symptoms, says Health insurance.

Infection with the monkeypox virus can also cause rash vesicular, made up of fluid-filled vesicles that progress to desiccation, crusting, and then scarring. Since Itch it can happen.

The vesicles are more concentrated on the face, in the anogenital area, the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, they may be present but also on the trunk and extremities. The mucous membranes are also affected, both in the mouth and in the genital area.

How long does the disease last?

The incubation of the disease can vary from 5 to 21 days. The fever phase lasts about 1 to 3 days. The disease usually heals spontaneously, after 2 to 3 weeks, but sometimes 4 weeks.

Is it a serious illness?

Most cases of monkeypox are mild, but the virus can become severe for young children, pregnant women and immunocompromised people, the ECDC notes. Severe cases are also related to the degree of exposure to the virus, the patient’s medical condition, and the severity of complications, particularly reports. Blue France.

How to get tested?

In a press release, the High Health Authority requests the reimbursement of tests to detect infection by the monkeypox virus. Remember something important, unlike Covid-19, “the diagnosis of monkeypox virus infection is based primarily on clinical examination and patient questioning.”

As the HAS explains, only after this clinical examination by a doctor, who comes if necessary to confirm or not a “suspected case”, does the nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) intervene.

“It only makes sense in a confirmation context and is not not useful in the absence of symptoms“, specifies the HAS in its opinion. When carried out in the laboratory, the NAAT consists of mucosal samples, skin samples, and oropharyngeal sphere samples, including a PCR test.

They are powerful molecular tests for detecting microorganisms and diagnosing the infections they cause.

The HAS emphasizes the need to report the results of these tests as quickly as possible, as they particularly impact insulation maintenance or removal. Monkeypox is a notifiable disease. As soon as a case is identified, doctors must notify health authorities. Positive people should self-isolate for at least 3 weeks.

How to get vaccinated against monkeypox?

The Haute Autorité de Santé recommends preventive vaccination:

  • men who have sex with men and multi-partner trans people;
  • professionals who work in places of sexual consumption;
  • people in prostitution.

Preventive vaccination is not currently recommended for healthcare professionals who have not been in contact with a patient, but may be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on exposure, the existence of individual risk factors, or at their request, according to HAS . .

You can find the vaccination sites, depending on your location, on the website and on the websites of regional health agencies.

What are the recommendations to follow?

The WHO has advised the group most affected by the disease – men who have sex with men – to reduce the number of sexual partners. Condoms alone cannot provide complete protection against transmission of the virus.

Infected people “must remain in isolation until the scabs fall off,” says the ECDC. Patients should avoid close contact with immunocompromised persons, pregnant women, young children, or pets. It is also recommended to refrain from sexual activity and close physical contact until the rash heals.

Items used by patients, such as clothing, bedding, towels, or kitchen utensils, should not be shared with others. Caregivers and family members should avoid touching skin lesions with bare hands, wear disposable gloves, and observe strict hand hygiene.

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