Uruguay and Peru take preventive measures against monkeypox — MercoPress

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Uruguay and Peru take preventive measures against monkeypox

Monday, May 23, 2022 – 09:20 UTC


As it is a well-known disease, health centers in many countries have long had protocols in place.

Uruguayan health authorities announced over the weekend that they were monitoring the possible local occurrence of suspected cases of monkeypox, based on “the symptomatology and travel history” of the individuals.

The Ministry of Public Health (MSP) said in a statement that the health watch department was tracking suspected cases based on symptoms and patient travel history. The officials also said they were in constant contact with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) “through the National Liaison Center” to be aware of the situation. global evolution of monkeypox, a zoonotic virus. disease detected in Canada, Spain, United States, Great Britain, Italy, Portugal and Sweden.

According to the MSP press release, monkeypox is caused by a “virus belonging to the genus Orthopoxivirus, Family Poxviridae” and “it is transmitted to humans by various wild animals, in the first cases the infection occurs by direct contact with blood, meat, skin or mucous membrane lesions of infected animals. Person-to-person transmission may occur through close contact with respiratory tract secretions or skin lesions; cases of sexual transmission have been reported,” a also pointed out the MSP.

“These are two viruses from a very close family of viruses. The most important difference, we can say that human smallpox is a virus whose host and only host has been humans,” said the virologist. Mabel Berois at Subrayado, while monkeypox “can also infect other animals, including us.

“That’s the big difference, so it’s a virus that can and does circulate in nature,” Berois explained. “The severity of monkeypox is much more benevolent than that of human smallpox,” she also pointed out.

The mortality rate can be as high as 10%, but the disease itself follows the same patterns, such as fever and pain; then the rash appears. “Outbreaks and cases of monkeypox have always appeared in Central Africa. The first time he crossed, left the continent, I think it was 2003 in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the Peruvian Minister of Health, Jorge López, announced that a health alert should be declared given the increase in cases recorded abroad, although to date no cases have been reported. detected in Peru. Under the alert, the country’s health system must prepare for a possible contagion report. “If a case is detected in our country, it is important that the health system is prepared. We still have no cases (…) people who have been vaccinated against smallpox have almost 85% protection,” César Munayco, executive director of public health surveillance at the National Epidemiology Center, Prevention and Control (CDC), explained Canal N.

Munayco also warned that this disease can manifest itself with malaise, headache, fever and, after five days, lesions appear on different parts of the body (face, trunk and limbs). “We observe that several countries have reported cases, which is why the alert has been raised,” he added.

When asked if a restriction would be applied to people entering Peru from countries where this disease is present, Munayco said no because “the incubation period for this disease is long”.

The first human cases of monkeypox were identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, and the number has steadily increased over the past decade in West and Central African countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that cases of monkeypox have been detected since the beginning of May in the United Kingdom, particularly within the homosexual community. Since May 6, seven cases of monkeypox have been detected in the country, including four in people who identify as “gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men”, according to the UKHSA.

“We are seeing transmissions among men who have sex with men,” which is “new information that we need to study properly to better understand the dynamics” of transmission, said Ibrahima Socé Fall, deputy director-general of WHO for emergency response.

The UKHSA, for its part, recommends “particularly gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (MSM) to be alert for any unusual rashes or lesions”.

The current number of monkeypox cases is already the largest outbreak of the disease reported outside of Africa since records began. Belgium was the first country to decree compulsory social isolation due to illness. Health authorities in Europe, Canada, the United States and Australia have begun detecting cases of monkeypox, whose previous outbreaks had been largely contained.

Last Friday, the WHO issued an “epidemiological alert” for “monkey pox in non-endemic countries”. According to this latest report, as of May 20, 2022, 11 countries have reported cases: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States and Belgium.

In recent years, cases outside Africa had only been detected in the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom and Singapore (which does not mean that they did not occur in other countries, where epidemiological detection systems are less developed).

Various epidemiological surveillance agencies and experts have, however, clarified that, although the current cases and their forms of contagion are still under investigation, monkeypox does not pose a threat to the health of the general population. The rash changes and goes through different stages and can look like chickenpox or syphilis, before finally forming a scab, which then falls off.

As it is a well-known disease, health centers in many countries have long had protocols in place that suggest how to avoid contagion, detect symptoms and offer treatment. Health authorities have been on alert to quickly identify any potential cases of monkeypox in order to provide treatment, trace contacts and prevent the spread of the virus. Many health agencies have advised their populations to be alert to symptoms and seek medical attention if infection is suspected, especially people who have traveled within the last three weeks (the incubation period of the disease ).

The main signs appear 1 to 5 days after the fever: an eruption then develops first on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. A rash in the genital area has also been reported. Symptom monitoring is essential because monkeypox, unlike covid, is not transmitted until people develop symptoms.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has insisted that hygiene measures are essential in the face of this virus. “Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer,” advises the CDC.

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