Monkeypox has already reached Spain. The Community of Madrid investigates 23 cases and fears that the number will increase. This disease had never been detected before in our country. It is endemic in West and Central Africa and, although it has generated an outbreak outside the African continent, had not previously circulated in Europe.
Most infections have been found in young men who have had sex with other men, although the virus affects men and women equally. From what is known about the disease, it is not, in principle, a sexually transmitted disease and, in fact, the use of condoms does not protect, he assured Natalia Rodriguez-Valeroa doctor at the International Health Service of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and an ISGlobal researcher.
The contagion is produced by contact with the skin of an affected person or with the mucous membranes. This contact must be intimate and prolonged.
As reported by Science Media Center Spain (dependent on the Ministry of Science) on its website, “transmission between humans is limited and requires close contact, either with respiratory secretions or skin lesions, a contaminated object, or prolonged face-to-face contact allowing infection from respiratory particles. The longest documented chain of transmission is six people.”
If you live with an affected person, you should not share a glass, cutlery, or towels, for example.
Avoid close contact
The World Health Organization notes that close contact with other patients is the most important risk factor for infection. In the absence of a specific treatment or vaccine (although antivirals are prescribed), the only way to reduce infection in people “is to make them aware of the risk factors and educate them about the measures that can adopt to reduce exposure to the virus», indicates the WHO.
In addition, it emphasizes two fundamental aspects to avoid contagion:
-It is important to reduce the risk of transmission from animals to people. It is necessary to avoid any contact with rodents and primates and second, limit direct exposure to blood and meat, and cook them thoroughly before consumption. During handling of sick animals or their infected tissues, and during slaughter procedures, gloves and other suitable protective clothing should be worn
– Care must be taken to reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission. Avoid close physical contact with people infected with monkeypox virus. To assist the sick, gloves and protective equipment should be used. Hands should be washed systematically after caring for a sick person. It is recommended to isolate patients at home or in health centers.
Infection control in hospitals
Health personnel caring for infected patients or handling samples obtained from them should observe standard infection control precautions.
Besides, should consider getting vaccinated against smallpox. The old smallpox vaccine should not be given to immunosuppressed people.
Transport of patient samples must ensure safe packaging and follow guidelines for infectious substances
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism