Exactly one month ago, a file United kingdom Recorded the first imported case from monkey pox (monkeypox) from 2022. He was a traveler who had returned from Nigeria, where the disease is endemic. What had until then been normal in some countries – sporadic cases related to travel – took an unprecedented proportion, becoming the largest outbreak of the disease outside the African continent: more than 30 countries have already been affected.
A week after the first case in England, two people from the same family, unrelated to the first patient, tested positive for monkeypox in London.
The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) said in a statement: “The current outbreak is the first time the virus has been transmitted from person to person in England, where no links to travel to an endemic country have been identified.”
Since then, patients with classic symptoms of monkeypox (acute fever, swollen lymph nodes and skin lesions) have begun to appear in hospitals in Portugal (May 17), Spain (May 18) and other European countries.
However, the disease was not limited to the European continent. Almost simultaneously, cases were confirmed in the United States, Canada and Australia.
The number of positive diagnoses has increased dramatically, trebling in the past 10 days.
On Monday (6), real-time monitoring by researchers from the Global Health Initiative – which includes such famous universities as Harvard and Oxford – showed 1,011 confirmed cases of monkeypox in 31 countries.
However, more than half is concentrated in England, Spain and Portugal.
In addition to the countries listed above, confirmed cases:
• The United Arab Emirates
• northern Ireland
• Czech Republic
What interests researchers most is how a disease with highly limited human-to-human transmission (usually restricted to members of the same family) appears in people without clear contact and in different parts of the world.
“Monkeypox is not a new disease, it has been described for at least 40 years and has been well studied in the African region. We have seen very few cases in Europe in the past five years, only in travelers, but this is the first,” said Rosamund Lewis, smallpox secretary for the emergency program. Health Organization of the World Health Organization (WHO):
A member of the WHO committee coordinated by Rosamund, Brazilian virologist Clarissa Damaso, of the Carlos Chagas Filho Biophysics Institute, at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), suggests that monkeypox virus may have found environments that facilitated its transmission. groups of people.
“This time there was some heavy contact factor, a turn for an infected person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was somewhere with a lot of people, a lot of skin contact.” [uma das formas de transmissão da doença]says the researcher who has studied the smallpox virus for 35 years.
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease, that is, it mainly affects animals, but the virus manages to transmit to humans at a certain rate and, as noted, maintains a certain level of human-to-human transmission.
WHO Director of Emergencies Mike Ryan warned on Wednesday that outbreaks of diseases such as monkeypox and Lassa fever are becoming more persistent and frequent.
“Unfortunately, this ability to amplify and transmit this disease within our communities is increasing – so has increased incidence of disease and the factors that amplify disease.”
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