Monkeypox: another virus with new symptoms and a specific guide to action

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Monkeypox doesn’t spread easily between people as you might think. Through this work, general guidelines are offered for a better understanding of this virus. Infection occurs through close contact with infected skin, body fluids or respiratory droplets from an infected person you are having sex with.

Sure, it’s about another virus that of smallpox and that it is transmitted outside its usual endemic area (central and west Africa), requiring close epidemiological control over it.

Besides sexual contact, it can also be transmitted in other situations involving sustained and prolonged physical contact, and also through contact with contaminated objects such as bedding, bandages, dishes, etc.

A person is considered contagious from the time the enanthema—lesions in the oral mucosa—appears until the lesions heal and a new layer of skin forms.

The time of isolation

For this reason, infected people should remain isolated until all skin lesions have healed and, in particular, avoid close contact with immunocompromised people.

The incubation period can 5 and 21 days, and the clinical picture usually begins with a combination of symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain, characteristic skin changes and swollen glands.

In terms of severity, epidemiologists point out that cases in the current outbreak are milder than those in west africa, and that they generate hardly any hospital admissions. However, remember that lesions on the skin and mucous membranes are very annoying.

vaccination

The smallpox vaccine can protect people from monkeypox because of the similarity between the two viruses. In addition, antibodies produced against the smallpox virus also protect against monkeypox. In Spain, vaccination against smallpox was given until 1979 and given at the age of 20 months.

In 2013, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) granted approval Imvanex vaccine to prevent smallpox in adults. He is currently reviewing studies to expand the use of the monkeypox vaccine.

Who should be vaccinated

World Health Organization and other international organizations recommend pre-exposure vaccination for medical personnel at high risk of exposure, laboratory personnel working with orthopoxviruses, and laboratory personnel performing diagnostic tests for monkeypox.

Outbreak response team members who may be designated by national health authorities and close contacts of confirmed cases should also be vaccinated.

Vaccination prior to exposure is recommended people under 45 engaging in risky sexual practices, and health care workers who care for people engaged in risky practices, and laboratory workers handling potentially contaminated samples.

International Studies

An international collaboration led by researchers from 16 countries Queen Mary University of London (UK) has identified new clinical symptoms in people infected with monkeypox.

The study published in the scientific journal The New England Journal of Medicine, It represents the largest case series to date, reporting 528 confirmed infections in 43 locations between April 27 and June 24, 2022.

The current spread of the virus is disproportionately affecting gay and bisexual men, as 98 percent of those infected belong to this group. Although sexual proximity is the most likely route of transmission in most of these cases, the researchers emphasize this the virus It can be spread through close physical contact, through large respiratory droplets, and possibly through clothing and other surfaces.

Many of those infected in the study had unrecognized symptoms in current medical definitions of monkeypox. These symptoms include solitary genital lesions and sores in the mouth or anus.

clinical symptoms They are similar to those of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and can easily lead to misdiagnosis. In some people, anal and oral symptoms have led to hospitalization for pain and difficulty swallowing.

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