The rapid risk assessment published today by the ECDC: “Contagion through close relationships”
Monkeypox, “between May 15 and May 23, were a total of 85 cases reported in the EU in 8 Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden)“. This was reported by the ECDC, European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, in a rapid risk assessment ‘monkeypox’ published today.” Most of the current cases “, explains Andrea Ammon, director of the ECDC,” she showed up with symptoms mild and for the wider population the probability of spread is very low. However, the likelihood of further spread of the virus through close contact, for example during sexual activities between people with multiple sexual partners, is considered to be high. ”
THE cases of monkeypox, the ECDC points out, currently “they have been diagnosed mainly among men who have sexual relations with men, which suggests that transmission could take place during intimate relationships”. The infection, experts recall, can occur through close contact of the mucous membrane or non-intact skin with infectious material of lesions, or through large respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact. Infected people are therefore advised “to refrain from sexual activity and close physical contact until the skin rash heals”. “Most cases can stay at home with supportive care,” added the ECDC.
“Infected people – the ECDC continues – should remain isolated until the scabs fall“that are created as a result of the rash caused by the disease,” and in particular they should avoid close contact with immunosuppressed people and pets “, therefore recommends the ECDC. As for close contacts in cases of monkeypox these” should self -monitor to check for any development of symptoms for 21 days after the last exposure “, adds the ECDC.
The EU body will continue to “closely monitor developments and update the risk assessment as soon as new data and information become available”.
“If human-to-animal transmission occurs and the virus spreads to an animal population, there is a risk that the disease could become endemic in Europe.“, explains the ECDC.
The ECDC highlights the importance of preventing human infection from passing and spreading to animal populations in the EU and calls for vigilance on this front: “Close intersectoral collaboration is necessary between the public health authorities of the human and veterinary sectors – experts warn – to manage pets exposed “to the virus” and prevent transmission of the disease to wildlife. ”
“I am concerned about the increase in the number of monkeypox cases reported in the EU and around the world. We are closely monitoring the situation and, although the likelihood of spreading ‘the disease’ in the wider population is currently low, the picture is evolving, “he points out Stella KyriakidesEuropean Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.
“We must all remain vigilant”, urges Kyriakides who invites to “ensure availability of contact tracing and adequate diagnostic capability; ensure the availability of vaccines, antiviral drugs and personal protective equipment “Dpi,” necessary for health professionals.
“We have been in close contact with the Member States since the first reports of cases of monkeypox virus in the EU, and we are ready – assures the Commissioner – to actively support and coordinate the response of the European Union with all the resources to disposition”.
“The European Union Health Security Committee will discuss monkeypox tomorrow, and our Emergency Response and Preparedness Authority (Hera), the ECDC” and the European Medicines Agency “Ema are working closely contact to ensure that information on the epidemiological situation and the availability of vaccines and treatments are secured “, highlights Stella Kyriakides.