Monkeypox: Questions and answers about monkeypox virus infection

Monkeypox: Questions and answers about monkeypox virus infection

Due to the fact that cases were reported in several countries at the same time, officials acknowledged that the virus had been spreading for some time before it was discovered, making it difficult to characterize the outbreak.

How many cases have been confirmed in Europe?

Since May 7, when the UK first reported the case, 704 cases have been confirmed in 18 European countries, but no deaths have been reported, according to data updated by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). And 1,176 worldwide.

How many cases have been confirmed in Portugal?

According to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), 209 cases of monkeypox infection have been confirmed in Portugal, with 18 of them in the last 24 hours, among all men between the ages of 19 and 61, mostly under 40 years of age. , Which are in clinical follow-up and are stable.

The highest rates of infection were reported in Lisbon and Valle do Tejo, but cases were also reported in the north and Algarve.

What is the risk assessment for monkeypox disease?

The clinical manifestations of monkeypox are usually mild, with most infected people recovering within a few weeks.

The ECDC believes that while mild symptoms of the disease appear in most cases, the MPXV virus can cause serious illness in certain population groups, such as infants, pregnant women, and people with immunodeficiency syndrome.

However, the likelihood of cases of severe malformations is not yet known, according to the European Center, which assesses the disease as moderate risk for people with multiple sexual partners and low risk for the general population.

What are the symptoms of an infection?

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, fatigue, and acne.

The incubation period is usually six to 16 days, but it can be up to 21 days, and when itching occurs, the person is no longer contagious.

Who is at risk of contracting monkeypox?

Anyone who has close physical contact with a person infected with monkeypox has an increased risk of infection. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people who have been vaccinated against smallpox are more likely to be protected against the disease.

Newborns, infants, and people with immune deficiencies may be at risk for more serious symptoms, such as healthcare workers being exposed to prolonged exposure to the virus.

Where is the disease?

Since 1970, human cases of monkeypox have been reported in 11 African countries – Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.

Occasionally, cases are found in non-native countries, most of which have moved to African countries where monkeypox is active. In May, the current outbreak was found in several countries, with samples from the WHO recognizing that the disease is not specific, indicating that the virus may have been transmitted before it was detected by health authorities.

Is there a risk of an outbreak?

Monkeypox is not considered highly contagious because it requires close physical contact with an infected person. The WHO considers the risk to be low for the general public.

However, to prevent the spread of the spread of the virus, the organization is responding to the outbreak with “high priority” in terms of identifying how the virus is spreading.

Is Monkey Pox a Sexually Transmitted Infection?

The virus can be transmitted from one person to another through close physical contact, including sexual contact.

Currently, experts have not yet determined whether the virus can be transmitted through semen or vagina, but direct contact with wounds during sexual intercourse can be a means of transmission.

According to the WHO, the risk of infection is not limited to sexually active people or men who have sex with men, as those who have close physical contact with an infected person may be at risk.

Why is this disease called Monkey Pox ”?

The disease was first detected in 1958 in captive monkey colonies for scientific research. It was later found in humans, in 1970, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in a nine-month-old baby smallpox. Removed in 1968.

Are there vaccines against monkeypox?

Vaccines used to eradicate smallpox also provide protection against monkeypox, but a more recent and specific vaccine for this virus has already been developed. Several studies show that the smallpox vaccine is about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox.

In 2019, a new two-dose vaccine was approved, but according to the WHO, it remains in limited availability.

Is there a plan for vaccination in Portugal?

The DGS acknowledged that the vaccine would be given against the chain to include a chain of viral infections, but that “the risks and benefits of this vaccination are always measured”. According to the director general, Graça Freitas, the use of the official vaccine in the United States is being considered in Portugal for use in specific situations in connection with the human infection with the monkeypox virus.

According to the Health Authority, the fact that the reported cases of infection in Portugal are not serious means that the country has not adopted an aggressive vaccination policy.

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