Sunday, June 26

“Transmission of monkeypox between humans has been higher than expected”


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The director of the Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simon, has stated that monkeypox “is not one of the diseases that has a significant transmission between humans”, but “precaution must always exist” and time must be given to carry out the corresponding investigations and “correctly assess the risk”.

Simón participates in the I National Seminar ‘How does the veterinary profession protect the health of the planet?’, which is being held this Saturday in Zaragoza. He has indicated, in statements to the media, that during the pandemic he has not only worked with the coronavirus but with other risks and with other pathogens that have been emerging. “Now one has emerged, in particular, which until now was subscribed to specific areas of West Africanot to all of Africa”, he wanted to make clear.

Simón has exposed monkeypox «it is a problem of African origin and in Europe there were basically known imported cases and some small local transmission in some countries, specifically the United Kingdom has had some imported cases in recent years and, from those imports it seems that there has been a transmission in humans that has been more extensive than expected.

He added that “we do not know how much wider, the extent is not only assessed by the number of cases, the number of cases is important because there are more monkeypox than there have ever been outside of Africa, but it is not the same whether all cases have a single point of transmission or whether there are several chains of transmission. We do not know all that, it is being investigated, we must give room to carry out the appropriate investigations and correctly assess the risk ».

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Monkeypox, a disease that has some particular characteristics, pointed out the director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies. “People who were born before 1977 are very likely to be vaccinated with the smallpox vaccine, a vaccine that protects quite well against monkeypox.” However, he has estimated that “we still do not have enough information to assess it and we have to be careful not to give a feeling of risk that may change completely in a few days.”

For Simon, “caution must always exist, but right now there should not be a situation of excessive anguish ». This disease “is transmitted by prolonged and very close contact with respiratory secretions or mainly by contact with the secretions of the pustules that are generated during the disease.”

He went on to say that “it is not one of the diseases that has a significant transmission between humans, we know that every year that passes we have a new cohort of the population that is not vaccinated against smallpox, and the disease is not generally one of the most serious ».

confirmed cases

«As of yesterday we had analyzed samples from 30 patients, of which 7 were confirmed as monkeypox, and then there were another 23 in which human smallpox had been ruled out and the presence of an orthopoxvirus was confirmed. No orthopoxvirus is currently circulating in Spain, therefore, the probability that these cases are positive is very high, but we still do not have the genome sequencing to confirm with absolute certainty that it is a monkey virus.

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In addition to those, there are more samples of suspicious cases that are being sent to the Majadahonda Reference Center, and “when we have results, we will be informed,” Simón commented.

For her part, the Minister of Health of the Government of Aragon, Sira Repollés, who was also present at the conference on the veterinary profession, stressed that “at the moment we do not have any suspicious cases in this autonomous community. We are vigilant, we have established the detection protocols and always in coordination with the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies.”

Coronavirus

Regarding the coronavirus, Simón stressed that “the pandemic is not over yet” and “although we have a very different situation than a year or two ago, which is mainly due to the enormous impact that vaccines are having, it’s over”.

It has stressed that “the situation is better but it is not over, we cannot think that we can lower our guard completely, we can lower the measures, be calmer, think that things are not as serious as they were but it is not over, I would not like it to be sent wrong message.

Sira Repolles has said that “we are in periods of transition and the incidence is looked at differently, we look above all at care capacities and how the disease affects our care system, we have spent several weeks in which vulnerable people and those under 60 years they are stagnant, now we are even going down a little and we are reducing the number of patients we have in the ICU ».

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The counselor has summed up that “it can be said that we are in a controlled situation in a stable downward situation and we will continue to be vigilant as it cannot be otherwise.

Likewise, he has pointed out that all the lines are still open to be able to administer the vaccines. “A certain relaxation is noticeable, the interest in vaccinating has been declining.”

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