Smallpox monkeys, EU buys 110 thousand vaccines

Kyriakides: “They will be delivered to the Member States starting from the end of June”. Ammon (Ecdc): “Transmission not linked to sexual orientation”

Today “I will sign an agreement for around 110,000 monkeypox vaccines, in order to be able to deliver them to the Member States as of the end of June”. This was stated by the European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides, on the sidelines of the Health Council in Luxembourg, without adding other details.

“We now have around 900 cases of monkeypox in the EU – he continues – and around 1,400 in the world. It is the first time that we have used EU funds to buy vaccines that we can then distribute to member states. This shows what we can do when we work. together “, he concludes.

Minister Roberto Speranza also participates in the Health Council in Luxembourg, who will also be in Brussels today for the joint purchase of vaccines for monkeypox in the EU.

Ecdc: 901 cases in the EU, no deaths

Until yesterday in the EU and in the European Economic Area there have been “901 confirmed cases of monkeypox”. This was stated by the director of the ECDC Andrea Ammon, connected in a hearing from Luxembourg with the ENVI commission of the European Parliament in Brussels.

The countries that have the largest number of cases in the EU, continues Ammon, are “Spain, Portugal and Germany” and the United Kingdom outside the EU. The cases so far are concentrated in “young males who identify themselves as men who have sex with other men”, although, he recalls, “the transmission of the virus is not linked to sexual orientation. So far there have been no deaths,” he concludes. she.

Now that, in the summer, “there will be more mass gatherings for MSM communities as well (Men who have Sex with other Men, ed), rather than canceling them should be seen as an opportunity to increase awareness of risks and symptoms, ”continued Ammon.

“It is also important to prevent stigma by making it clear that the transmission of monkeypox is not related to sexual orientation.” Instead, we need to “inform about what to do and where to go when symptoms develop”. Mass events are “opportunities for health promotion”.

Monkeypox, he recalled, “does not spread easily from person to person.” The contagion “occurs through a tight contract with infected material from skin lesions of an infected person or the respiratory droplet with prolonged and tight face-to-face contact”.

“In the current epidemic – he underlined – the location of the cases suggests that transmission occurs through sexual contact”. The expansion out of countries where the virus is endemic “began on May 7, with a person in the UK coming from Nigeria. It’s not unusual, it has happened in years past.”

“But from 18 May – added Ammon – onwards, more EU and SEA countries have reported other confirmed or suspected cases. Now the focus is on a rapid diagnosis that allows the isolation and contact tracing of smallpox cases. some monkeys. To do that, you have to do some things. “

“First of all, we need strong risk communication and interaction with MSM communities (Men who have Sex with Men, ed) and also with the general public – he added – the messages must be a little different”. Today, the likelihood of monkeypox spreading among men who have sex with other men “is considered high in the EU and the SEA. However, it should be noted that the likelihood of it spreading to the general population is low. And the majority of men cases presented mild symptoms “. Finally, for Ammon, “it is essential to raise awareness among health personnel, especially for general practitioners, dermatologists and clinics specializing in sexually transmitted diseases”.