Awareness, vigilance and attention are the “keys” to tackling the monkey blizzard, which appeared in early March in countries beyond Africa where the disease is endemic, causing concern and putting health systems on alert.
“People should not worry but should be careful”, says with emphasis to APE-MPE the Professor of Epidemiology at the Medical School of EKPA, Athena Linou, considering “it is unlikely that a case will occur in Greece”. This highlights the modes of transmission, the symptoms and the protection measures, emphasizing that the tracking of contacts, the rapid detection of new cases and the isolation, are the factors that will break the transmission chain.
A total of 19 countries outside Africa have confirmed at least one case. The total number of cases detected by the ECDC has almost increased fivefold from its first count on May 20 and from 38 to 219 cases, with 191 being located in Europe.
“Her appearance in Europe is not normal, we have no interpretation why it happened, there are speculations and therefore it is reasonable to worry until we know how it happened,” said Ms. Linou.
Considers “unlikely to have any case in Greece, unless we can eradicate the disease in the coming days, but it is now in 19 countries. “How will these countries be able to find the contacts of the 200 cases they have?” he wonders.
Regarding transmissibility, he emphasizes that we still do not “know the transmissions of this form that are circulating in Europe today. “We see that every 2 to 3 days the cases double, so we must take immediate measures”, he underlines. He estimates that “there are more cases”, as he states that the blessing of monkeys, like the blessing of monkeys, takes about two weeks to have visible symptoms. So those who are stuck today we will see these incidents in the next two weeks “.
Ways of transmission
The main mode of transmission is through the respiratory tract (cough, sneezing, prolonged face-to-face contact), through contact with infected people, their clothes, sheets or body fluids. The virus enters the body through skin lesions (visible or invisible) of the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth).
“There will be a problem if we come face to face with someone who has intense, as the droplets can come to our face. “If we sit somewhere or touch where someone used to sit with pimples open on their body, which are very contagious”, says Ms. Linou. We do not use the towel, we do not wear other people’s clothes, we do not lie on a bed that we are not 100% sure that the sheets have changed and we do not sit in places with bare feet and hands.
Particular attention should be paid to surfaces that we touch frequently (eg knobs) and toilets.
In Greece, says Ms. Linou, we have no cases, therefore, we consider that no surface is infected. But if a case is detected then we must be very careful.
The basic rule is to wear a mask when we are very close to someone, to wash your hands with soap and water regularly or to use an alcoholic antiseptic.. “Masks and antiseptics help, but if we have exposed parts of the body, due to summer we must be careful who is also transmitted by the skin,” the professor emphasizes.
What are the symptoms?
“Transmission does not occur during incubation, but when the first pimples appear, which sometimes appear first in the mouth and face. “Then we have a transmission”, notes Ms. Linou.
In fact, as he states, the marks from the face never go away. Any rash should mobilize the patient. Also in the symptoms is recorded the very high fever and swollen lymph nodes and this differentiates the blessing of the monkeys from the chicken pox. Ms. Linou emphasizes that it is not a simple disease, it has a mortality of 1 to 10%, depending on the conditions.
Case isolation and selective vaccination
If there are incidents, they should be isolated immediately in special areas and all people who came in contact should be vaccinated, because the vaccine works even after two to three days, says Ms. Linou.
He adds that people who have not been clearly vaccinated are at greater risk. «“Even if someone was vaccinated 50 years ago, they have some form of immunity,” he said, adding that the general population did not need to be vaccinated.. There is currently no specific vaccine against the monkeypox virus, however, the smallpox vaccine does not provide protection. We must be vigilant and prepared, the professor notes, as “people do not know how to protect themselves from this disease and no modern doctor has an incident with the blessing of monkeys.”
It offers fast-paced seminars to all doctors who will be called upon to deal with such incidents, record negative pressure units, so that we know where we will be treated with patient safety and supply of vaccines in small quantities for the groups that will need immediate vaccination. Vaccination can be given after exposure to people who have had close contact with a case and nursing staff.. The vaccine should be given within 4 days of exposure.
With information from ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ
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