How to protect yourself from monkeypox

How to protect yourself from monkeypox

At first it seemed like it was a no, and eventually it became a yes. The monkeypox epidemic has been declared an international public health emergency. The WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, did so, despite the opinions expressed by the WHO emergency committee gathered to decide on the matter, that he had not reached an agreement on the matter. He did it after the increase in cases that had been observed in recent weeks, and which led several countries (but also the European Union) to push in the vaccine race. But what does it mean that monkeypox has become a global health emergency?

What does global emergency mean? By definition, this is a sudden extraordinary event, which represents a risk to public health through the spread of the disease in question internationally, and may require coordinated enforcement action, immediate. In practice, for now, it has resulted in a series of (temporary) recommendations by the WHO, which have been cut according to the situations found in different countries. The great distinction is the fact of having had in the past cases of monkeypox, having recent cases with evidence of transmission at the community level or having historically reported cases of zoonosis, or the passage from animals to humans of the virus. . Depending on the cases in which the countries are found, there are different recommendations: from a general "get ready" to intercept cases early in the countries that do not have any, to sensitizing the population about the symptoms, the methods of contagion and prevention, with an invitation to prepare with adequate testing skills, to recommendations more aimed at blocking the transmission where reported, with contact tracing activities, isolation of confirmed and certain cases, immunization of contacts and personnel at risk, up to suggesting one health strategies to monitor and manage spillover events in countries with zoonotic transmission.

In general, remember, the disease for most people without frailty is mild and resolves itself. The data released a few days ago spoke of nine deaths in Africa out of 14 thousand cases (but we are now well over with the infections).

How to defend yourself from the infection Monkeypox can affect anyone, even if at the moment it is not easily anyone, as the Higher Institute of Health recalls. In fact, the data currently available exclude an easy transmission of monkeypox (nothing that resembles the coronavirus, so to speak) and instead suggest that in order for the infection to be transmitted there must be close contact. That is, kisses, hugs (and of course sexual intercourse, without speaking of a sexually transmitted infection in the strict sense), but also prolonged face-to-face contact, skin-to-skin contact, sharing of objects, such as cups, sheets or towels and clothes, but in general contaminated items are considered at risk if they happen to someone who has or may have the infection, characterized by rashes.

Twitter content This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

But vesicles are not the only symptom to pay attention to: even the less characteristic ones, such as fever, sore throat, or swollen lymph nodes are. Hence the observance of basic hygiene rules, including the use of disinfectant gels that we have rediscovered so much with the pandemic, is recommended.

How to avoid the spread of contagion The period in which a person remains infectious is not clear: at the moment it is not known whether completely asymptomatic people can transmit the virus, while it is believed that the risk of transmitting the disease remains until the vesicles have dried, fallen and have been replaced by new skin, and on average the rashes last two to three weeks, they write from the WHO. The same time window - 21 days - is the one recommended by the ministry for monitoring the contacts of people with monkeypox, to whom, in addition to checking their health conditions, it is recommended to avoid attending people more at risk - fragile subjects and children. and to avoid the donation of any biological material. Sperm included, although it is unclear whether the virus can also pass through here (but the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control recommends, regardless of recommendations for reducing sexually transmitted infections, to use it for three months to those who have had infection).

Animals such as infected rodents or primates can transmit the virus in endemic areas, and to prevent this from becoming so in our parts, it is advisable to pay attention to interactions with pets, to avoid that from them the virus can jump to wild animals.

Vaccines, to whom and when The increase in cases, we said, has catalyzed the rush to vaccines. But who is eligible for vaccination? At the moment the general population is excluded, and vaccines are generally reserved for people most at risk, for close contacts with cases of monkeypox, before or after exposure, both professional and non, and in some cases to those who have had more sexual partners in areas with known monkeypox. The risk is in fact generally considered high for those who have had more partners than the rest of the population, where it is considered low, even in Europe, among the areas most affected by the current epidemic.

Avoid stigma In several parts, WHO recommendations refer to the promotion of awareness-raising activities on monkeypox, with particular regard to those activities and populations that could be most affected. A feature of the monkeypox epidemic is that many of the reported cases have occurred among men having sex with men. But not exclusively, to the point that the invitation not to stigmatize the disease and behavior has resounded from many quarters. The Americans Cdc (Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention) invite everyone to underline that monkeypox is a disease that can affect anyone and consequently the control and prevention strategies must affect the entire population. "Focusing on cases in the gay community and bisexual men could inadvertently stigmatize this population and create a false sense of security in others".

Powered by Blogger.