Today, Sunday, the Pasteur Institute provided information about monkeypox patients, from which a number of infections have been recorded in humans in several countries, especially Europe.
The Pasteur Institute explained that monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the genus Corticoviruses. It was discovered in 1958, when it broke out twice in colonies of monkeys bred for research, hence the name “monkeypox”.
The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during a period of intense efforts to eradicate smallpox. Since then, “monkeypox” has been reported in several other Central and West African countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone.
Cases of human monkeypox have occurred outside Africa, linked to international travel or imported animals including cases in the United States, as well as the United Kingdom, some European countries and Asians.
The natural source of monkeypox remains unknown, however, African rodents and non-human primates (such as monkeys) can harbor the virus and infect humans.
Skin rashes (in the form of blisters) and swollen lymph nodes are the main signs in favor of monkeypox.
The Pasteur Institute added that the first case was confirmed on May 7, 2022 in Europe of an individual who returned to England from Nigeria, and since then, health authorities in the United Kingdom have reported 9 confirmed cases of “monkeypox” in people who have not traveled to an area normally at risk. (Central or West Africa).
In addition, 05 cases of monkeypox were confirmed on May 13, 2022 in Portugal, and another 15 suspected cases are under investigation. In Spain, a total of 30 cases were announced as of May 20, 2022. The health authorities of this country also indicated that another 18 suspected cases are being investigated in Spain: 15 cases in the Madrid region, 02 cases in the Canary Islands and 01 in Andalus.
In Italy, 3 cases were officially announced on Friday, May 20, 2022, of which 30 are currently suspected, other cases have been reported in Sweden, the United States and Canada.
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Virus transmission occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or material contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through a wound in the skin (even if it is not visible), the respiratory tract, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).
Transmission from animals to humans can occur through bites or scratches, through preparation of bushmeat, through direct contact with bodily fluids or pest material, or through indirect contact with contaminated material, such as contaminated bedding.
Human-to-human transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few metres, requiring long face-to-face contact.
Other methods of human-to-human transmission include direct contact with body fluids and indirect contact with soiled equipment, for example through contaminated clothing or linens.
The main vector of monkeypox is still unknown, but African rodents are suspected of playing a role in transmission.
Definitive in vitro diagnosis can only be made by identifying the virus using samples from the pests.
The differential clinical diagnoses to consider are other rash diseases, such as chickenpox (even if eradicated), chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, syphilis, and drug allergies.
Lymphadenopathy in the prodromal stage can be a clinical sign to distinguish smallpox from the already known (human) smallpox sign.
Definitive in vitro diagnosis can only be made by identifying the virus using samples from the lesions.
In order to interpret the results, it is necessary to provide the samples with patient information such as the date of the onset of fever or the date of appearance of the rash.
As with the coronavirus, barrier gestures can be helpful: wearing a mask in enclosed spaces, washing hands, social distancing and more.
Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from other people, especially if they are coughing, sneezing, or have a fever.
A number of specific measures can be taken to prevent monkeypox infection:
Avoid any contact with animals likely to harbor the virus (especially sick animals or animals found dead in areas where “monkeypox” is present);
avoid contact with materials, such as bedding, that have come into contact with a sick animal;
isolate infected patients from others at risk of infection;
Good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using a hydro-alcoholic solution
Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.