“There is no cause for social alarm over monkeypox, but there is an epidemiological alarm”

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Epidemiologist and former director of WHO Sanitary Action Daniel López Acua denies that monkeypox will behave like covid

Daniel L.
Daniel Lopez Acua, epidemiologist and former director of WHO Health Action.EM

“There is no cause for social alarm over monkeypox, but there is. An epidemiological alarm is necessary for an infectious disease we have to bite, This is no alarm compared to the Covid pandemic. We shouldn’t think that monkeypox is going to behave the same way, because it’s so different.” Daniel López Acua, epidemiologist and former Director of Sanitary Action of the World Health Organization (WHO), Before the explosion of suspected, probable and confirmed cases of people affected by monkeypox, which has already spread to a dozen countries, including Spain, where seven communities have already registered or are investigating possible cases.

According to López-Acua, they are talking about dozens of cases “and the transmission is not by aerosol. We have to stop it now so that it doesn’t spread, but we can’t compare it to covid in terms of transmission routes and point . from the perspective of the community.” epidemiology, that is, There is no need to worry that there is a new epidemic, What is there Epidemic outbreak of a rare, endemic disease getting out of hand, because it has been introduced in places where it does not usually occur: in Europe. And, moreover, it hasn’t been in one place, but has cases in practically a dozen countries.

In the case of Spain, the largest number of affected people is concentrated in Madrid (30 confirmed and 39 under investigation) but there are six more communities that have reported the existence of cases: Andalusia (one confirmed and four under study) ); Canary Islands with two suspects; Galicia, Castilla-La Mancha, the Basque Country and Extremadura (with one each, in the latter region it will be a female whose specimens are being studied).

Has anything been learned in terms of epidemiology as a result of COVID? “It’s made a increased awareness need that has always existed, though it is not always met, To declare health alerts on outbreak of pandemic And to establish action protocols so that the world has all the clarity on how to diagnose cases, how to isolate them, how to control the outbreak. The pandemic supports us in this because it has created awareness.”

they, López Acua believes that “knowing how to function well” is essential and stresses that “it is not a matter of vaccination.is not a disease that is transmitted by aerosols, but by close contact with body fluids, with a very different contagion dynamics”.

WHO meeting

Simian pox or monkey pox (monkeypox) is a “viral zoonosis” (disease caused by a virus spread from animals to people)”, as well as the SARS-CoV-2 virus. World Health Organization (WHO) consider it “rare”which produces symptoms similar to those previously observed in patients with smallpox, although less severe.” That is, after the eradication of smallpox in the 1980s and later the end of smallpox. tells that he has become ortopoxvirus MS important.

WHO is planning an extraordinary meeting for next week and in this sense, López-Acua explains that “is a common action when there is an epidemic outbreak of a disease that is larger than normalwhich did not exist and happens in many countries” He also remembers that “this was done even when there was an outbreak of cholera …This is to contrast information, compare approaches, analyze possible regimens in terms of action and vaccination protocols. In other words, it is some standard within the international regulatory framework” and adds: “It should not be interpreted as something that is done because of an anomalous emergency. We are concerned to see simultaneous cases across Europe that are not linked to travel or interactions with people from endemic areas, except for one in the United Kingdom. what We need to understand how the chain of transmission,

Former director of WHO Health Action stressed Importance of thorough case and close contact tracing: “They should be isolated and put up a dike, which is a little wider, to interrupt transmission, and Everything indicates, in the case of Spain, that there are places of concentration, such as the sauna in Madrid, where men who have sex with men go and there’s a conversation. In any case, there is no need to simplify or tarnish. Being transmitted by bodily fluids, male-to-female and female-to-female transmission can also occur., It all depends on close contact.”

family Medicine

Javier Arenzo, Members of the Working Group on Infectious Diseases of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (Semfyc), such as López-Acua, Clarifies that this is not a pandemic, but it is about an inter-related epidemic outbreakWith a link, “with a significant number of people affected and almost always related”.

Arrange denies that an alarm is being felt in counseling regarding monkeypox, and points out that the concerns of professionals are “intermediate”, because Actions prior to these outbreaks are taking place relatively quickly. and location, therefore, disease in its correct setting.

Why is Spain at the forefront of the number of cases internationally? “The outbreak originated in England and, as happens in a country that has more communication with other countries, it begins to generate contact. Communication between Spain and the United Kingdom is important, as was the case with COVID. And there has been a specific group of people in Spain, as it may have been in other countries. Of course, he stressed that the important thing is “that this link is detected early and, therefore, the study of contacts and the diagnosis possibilities,” says Arrange.

and clarifies: “Monkey pox is not human smallpox, as its usual host is not humans, but other animals” And reiterates that cases are reported every year: “The main problem is that the virus has a qualitative leap that makes it more contagious to people with low levels of exposure. These are the studies that need to be done, But first let’s deal with it from an epidemiological point of view and avoid that there are species in Africa that have the virus and it doesn’t spread to other places. It’s difficult, but not impossible”.

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