Detected in Europe at the beginning of May, monkey pox, or monkeypox, continues to cause concern.
Contaminations, vaccinations, sanitary devices, … La Dépêche du Midi takes stock of the situation concerning monkey pox.
Low mortality rate
Monkeypox belongs to the same family as smallpox, which killed millions of people worldwide each year until it was eradicated in 1980. But monkeypox is much less serious, with a death rate of 3 to 6%.
Most patients recover after three to four weeks. The initial symptoms are high fever, swollen glands and skin rashes.
7 cases in France
According to the latest report published by Santé Publique France on Friday, May 27, there are currently 7 proven cases of monkey pox in France. It was also the figure that the Minister of Health, Brigitte Bourguignon, had given Wednesday during a trip to the Pasteur Institute. She had clarified that these were not people who had travelled.
“We are not expecting an outbreak of the disease, we are taking the necessary precautions, therefore vigilance in this case, and because it is a virus that we no longer saw in Europe”, declared the minister. Wednesday. “For now, the situation is under control, it is under control,” she said. The Minister also indicated that she would discuss next Monday with her European counterparts the “strategies that we are going to adopt” regarding this disease.
More than 200 worldwide
The UK reported a first case on May 7. Since then, some 200 cases have been detected in countries far removed from those where the virus is endemic. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), precisely 219 cases – but no deaths – had been reported on Wednesday.
Endemic to eleven countries in West and Central Africa, monkeypox has suddenly been detected in more than twenty other countries around the world, including the United States, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and a dozen from European countries.
The Spanish Ministry of Health listed 98 confirmed cases on Friday, the United Kingdom 90, and Portugal 74. In the latter country, all the cases are men, most under the age of 40.
First contact case vaccines
Faced with cases of monkey pox, in an opinion issued on Tuesday, the High Authority for Health recommended the vaccination of adults, including health professionals, who have had risky contact with a patient.
The first vaccinations have taken place. The first two people, considered to be contact cases with a monkey pox patient, were vaccinated on Friday May 27 in Paris, at the Bichat hospital, the Directorate General of Health said, according to BFMTV.
Brigitte Bourguignon then indicated that “recommendations have been made, to identify, detect, and then isolate”. As soon as “the recommendation” of the health authorities on the vaccination of people in contact with the disease “will be established”, “we are ready”, she said.
“The stocks are there, we have strategic stocks and it will be targeted vaccination, we are not talking about total vaccination”, Brigitte Bourguignon told RTL. “Beyond caregivers” in contact with a patient, these are “contact cases” in the patient’s entourage.
Only “the tip of the iceberg”
“We don’t know if we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg,” said Sylvie Briand, director of the WHO’s global infectious risk preparedness department, during a presentation to the organization’s member states on the “unusual” spread of the virus, during the World Health Assembly in Geneva (Switzerland).
Experts are trying to determine what caused this “unusual situation”, and preliminary results show no variation or mutation in the monkeypox virus, Briand said. “We have a window of opportunity to stop the transmission now,” she said. “If we put the right measures in place now, we can probably contain this quickly.”