Monkeypox, or monkeypox, was a viral disease that occurred only in rural areas of Central Africa and West Africa. This virus was not well known by western countries. On May 14, the United Kingdom's National Health Security Agency announced that two cases had been reported by them. They were not known to have had any contact with an import case or traveled recently. It has been a topic of conversation for everyone since then.
One month after the first cases were reported, there were already 500 confirmed cases in Spain. There were also more than 1,800 cases across Europe.
They have mild symptoms and do not need admission. Nearly all of them are young men, with a median of 36 years old and a history of having had sexual relations that were considered dangerous.
At the moment, the WHO considers this outbreak to pose a moderate public health risk. It is notable that this outbreak has been first reported in 28 countries, from both endemic and non-endemic areas.
However, while the risk to the public's health is currently low, it could increase if the virus becomes more widespread in countries that are not endemic.
It can also pose a threat to health personnel if they don't use appropriate infection prevention and control methods or lack adequate personal protection equipment. .
This new outbreak is a challenge that must be addressed worldwide. The Spanish Ministry of Health worked to ensure the prompt detection and diagnosis of cases of monkeypox.
A national alert was first opened and then a risk assessment was done. Also approved was a procedure to detect and manage cases quickly in response to the monkeypox alert. After a thorough review of the availability and effectiveness of vaccines, vaccination recommendations were made for the current situation.
Vaccines are back on the market to combat an unanticipated infection. Is the vaccine the answer to this epidemic?
One, prior vaccination against smallpox can protect against monkeypox. Between 1903 and 1979, Spain was vaccinated against smallpox. However, smallpox coverage has declined since 1972, when the disease was eradicated in Spain. It is possible that people over 50 may be protected against serious illnesses, if not all.
The European Union does not have a vaccine for monkeypox. The IMVANEX vaccine, from Bavarian Nordic, was approved by the European Commission in 2013. It is indicated for active immunization of adults over 18 years against smallpox. This vaccine was licensed in the United States in 2019 under the trade name JYNNEOS for the prevention and treatment of smallpox.
We have also used the ACAM2000 smallpox vaccines and IMVANEX smallpox vaccinations in past outbreaks in the United States. This has shown that smallpox virus can be prevented by early post-exposure vaccination. If not, reduce the severity of symptoms.
Given the limited availability of vaccines, it is recommended that close friends and family be vaccinated within four days of being contacted with a confirmed case. Although the Ministry of Health will closely monitor the spread of the disease, more vaccines will soon be available. However, it seems unlikely that the government will extend vaccination to all people, even if there are sufficient supplies.
These recommendations align with the WHO and ECDC. It's important to recall that we work at an international level, sharing information and debating among countries in order to reach a common and coordinated response.
This article was published in "The Conversation".