Knowing the chain of infection makes it difficult to control the explosion of cases of monkeypox.


Delay in doctor consultation, absence of dermatologists in some emergencies and incubation time of infection complicate the tracking of affected people which are already spread in more than a dozen countries

Close up of hands of a monkeypox patient during an outbreak in Rape
A close-up portrait of the hands of a monkeypox patient during an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 1996 and 1997.Brian WJ Mahi / CDC
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The explosion of cases of monkeypox continues unabated and everything indicates that it will continue like this for some time, since knowing Making it difficult to control the chain of transmission of the virus, More than ten countries are already affected by this outbreak, which according to some experts, in the case of Europe, already It will air about a month before the first alert launched by the United Kingdom.

Portugal, Spain, the US, Canada, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany and Australia have been added to this country, which reported 20 cases yesterday.

In the case of Spain, the most affected community is Madrid, where 30 cases have been reported and another 15 are being studied.

According to Health Minister Enrique Ruiz Escudero, One of the sources of origin of the monkey virus in the area is linked to the sauna.To participate in the tracking work carried out by the Directorate General of Public Health of the Ministry.

The counselor was confident that more cases would continue to emerge in the next few hours, although he emphasized that all symptoms are mild.

A foreword was also shared yesterday by the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES) warning that More cases will be detected and they did not rule out that it will be transmitted to more population groupsFor which he appealed to “reduce the risk behavior associated with this virus”.


And that knowing the chain of transmission of the virus is no easy task. The World Health Organization (WHO) has requested traceability to control cases, but The characteristics of the contagion pattern shared by this new outbreak outside its endemic region, Africa, make the tracking task difficult. “Many patients enter the emergency room or dermatology consultation. In many cases, the onset of sores may be Cause patients to think it was another disease“, explains Pablo Fernandez, spokesman for the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV).

In this sense, Javier Membrillo, spokesman for the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (Seimc), recalls that “infection is caused by very close contact between people. It is not as simple as covid; one can sleep with an infected person.” And don’t get infected. But if you touch the vesicles or blisters that pop up, the virus spreads more easily.”

Perhaps, as Fernandez points out, “the problem lies in the fact that Not all emergency services have a dermatologist on call You Pathology, although we still do not know why, does not behave in the same way as endemic areas.“Probably, that’s why it’s complicated to know the chains of contagion,” he explains.

That and that, in addition, “many people take the time to consult because of the shame, because of the stigma,” Membrillo says.

Limiter’s spokesperson also analyzed that “sexual behavior patterns of men who have sex with men sporadically on several occasions do not allow the chain of transmission to be well established.”

For this reason, experts warn that There will be an explosion of cases for a few days which will come down again“After the implementation of control elements and control practices with common sense”, explains Ames García Rojas, president of the Spanish Association of Vaccinology (AEV).

While it is true that experts emphasized that “it would be appropriate to alert the population to avoid risky sexual practices altogether: dark rooms, Chemex, Glory holes, swingers… the slightest doubt: abstain from sex completely and consult a doctor.”

geographical spread

Madrid’s health minister “Astonished by the wide geographic distribution of a disease, which was practically eradicated and controlled. You have to be very careful. In 24 hours, public health services have detected cases and epidemiological tracking has been done.”

In this sense, it matches what Membrillo pointed out. “The alarm is due to more or less simultaneous geographic dispersal. A case related to travel to the African endemic area of ​​Nigeria in the United Kingdom is indicated as origin, and from there an attempt is made to see how it reached Spain and Portugal.”

as well It is positive that “infection occurs with the lowest lethal strain, 1%, which is from West Africa, because if it matches Central Africa, the mortality rate rises to 10%.Quince explains.

In this scenario, European Commission health spokesman Stefan Kiersmacher appealed yesterday’s report from the European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), saying it is a virus of “moderate transmissibility between humans”. With a higher risk when the contact is close. In any case, he said, the Commission is monitoring the development of monkeypox in the EU “very, very carefully”.

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