Who is protected from monkeypox?

To date they have been confirmed in Spain 98 cases Monkeypox, according to data provided yesterday by the Ministry of Health. The National Microbiology Center of the Carlos III Institute of Health in Madrid has studied 200 suspected cases in recent days, of which the disease has been ruled out in 102.

Spain is currently the country that has recorded the highest number of infections for the disease, which has already been detected in 20 countries (followed by the United Kingdom, with 90 cases).

health authorities Continue to investigate the origin and pattern of transmission This outbreak of viral infection whose risk to the population is estimated to be low.

Outbreaks mainly affect people under the age of 40, as there is evidence that people who have been vaccinated against smallpox have some protection from monkeypox.

According to veterinary epidemiology specialist Nacho de Blas, smallpox vaccine is estimated Provides 85% environmental protection against monkeypox infection, “The assessment has been done primarily through studies of outbreaks in the Congo, taking into account close contact with patients and evaluating the risk of becoming ill by those who have been vaccinated against smallpox. has been assessed”, he clarified.

Human infectious disease was considered eradicated in 1980, so vaccination was no longer included in the vaccination program.

But, which generation was vaccinated last?

“In Spain, people born before 1970 can generally assume that they have been vaccinated against smallpox. And, conversely, everyone born after 1980 can assume that they have not,” World Vaccines says Federico Martinone, a member of the advisory committee. Head of Health Organization and Pediatrics at the University Clinical Hospital of Santiago. ,Between the 1970s and 1980s, the vaccine was used in a more irregular wayThose born closer to 70 are more likely to be vaccinated,” he adds.

According to data from the Vaccine Committee of the Spanish Pediatric Society, in the late 20th century, “The administration of vaccines was very irregular, With three peaks of over-immunization (1948–49, 1954–55 and 1961–62) related to reinforcement actions promoted by health officials.

ngel Hernández-Merino, a vaccine specialist at the Spanish Association of Primary Care Pediatrics (AEPap) and a member of the Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (CAV-AEP), explains that “except for dates that are consistent with that of health authorities.” government action, In the late 1970s and early 1980s, vaccination was opportunistic And not in the usual way.

Smallpox was declared eliminated from Spain in 1954, after the last autochthonous case was reported in 1950. The remainder from 1980, would be completely phased out in 1984.“, the committee says. In October 1979, the suspension of the mandatory smallpox vaccine had already been published in the BOE.

In addition to checking vaccination records or health history, one way to know whether you have received the smallpox vaccine is to check if you have had one. sign mark on the side of the arm or thighsince the administration of vaccination, which was done through Detonate —and not through an injection — used to leave a scar. However, this indication should not be confused with the tuberculosis vaccine, which also leaves a mark on the arm.

“A small mark was made, which is like a superficial scratch, where a solution attenuated vaccinia virusFrom the smallpox family,” explains Martinen.

Hernandez-Merino explains that “Not having scars does not mean not being vaccinated, as not all people develop signs.“.

And, of course, there have been doubts before. Can one do an antibody test as done for other infections like measles, syphilis, HIV or COVID? either. ,There is no standardized test to detect it. This is only done in research and seroprevalence studies,” Hernandez-Merino says.

The third generation smallpox vaccines that exist now are traditionally given with a needle and in two doses, and are based on modified vaccinia virus, However, experts recall that in the current context, generalized vaccination of the population is not considered.

“Only one vaccination of direct contacts of cases will be used, which is called ring vaccinationAlong with other measures to protect and isolate cases,” Martinen says.

“This type of vaccination is used in diseases in which, because of its type of transmission and characteristics, the vaccine prevents disease development or reduces its severity when administered early, thus providing protection around the initial case. generates a cycle, which eventually cuts off transmission of the pathogen,” he explains.

The doctors appeal for the peace of the citizens. “The fact that a rise in cases is normal when something is actively sought. We have to see the size of the outbreak, the mechanism and degree of transmission among the people. But the concern should be with the authorities and researchers, not the population.”

The health ministry announced last Wednesday that it would participate in the centralized acquisition of the third-generation smallpox vaccine that the European Union will launch. these are vials imvanexProduced by the Danish laboratory Bavarian Nordic.

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