Along with the announcement of three deaths in the Old Continent and Brazil, the European office of the World Health Organization warned to expect more deaths linked to monkey pox, stressing that serious complications of the disease are still rare.
“We expect more deaths as monkeypox continues to spread in Europe,” Catherine Smallwood, WHO’s chief emergency officer for Europe, said in a statement.
Smallwood insisted on “quickly stopping the spread and stopping the outbreak in Europe,” but he stressed that in most cases patients recover without the need for treatment.
Smallwood noted: “Reporting monkeypox deaths does not change our assessment of the outbreak in Europe. Although monkeypox is self-limiting in most cases, we know that monkeypox can cause serious complications.”
Spain and Brazil reported the first three deaths from monkey flu outside Africa, with little difference between Friday and Saturday, without knowing whether the virus was responsible for the deaths.
The disease, first identified in humans in 1970, brings the number of deaths reported worldwide since May to eight, after the first five deaths were reported in Africa.
In Spain, the health ministry reported a second death linked to monkey flu on Saturday, a day after a death believed to be the first in the current outbreak in Europe.
“Out of 3750 patients, 120 were transferred to hospital and two died,” the ministry said in a statement, without specifying the date of the second death.
He confirmed that the dead were “two young men” and confirmed that analyzes had been conducted to gather “epidemiological information” related to the two incidents.
In Brazil, a 41-year-old man infected with the virus died on Thursday in Belo Horizonte, in the southeast of the country, the health secretariat of Minas Gerais state announced on Friday, adding that “he was hospitalized due to other serious medical conditions. .”
“It’s important to emphasize that he had serious infections, so as not to cause panic among people. The mortality (related to this disease) is still low,” Minas Gerais Health Minister Fabio Baguretti said, explaining that the patient was under treatment. For cancer.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health says about 1,000 monkeys have been infected with monkey flu, most of them in the southeastern states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
A global health emergency
On July 24, the World Health Organization declared the highest level of alert of international public health emergency to control the monkey fever, also known as orthopoxvirus simian.
According to the World Health Organization, since the beginning of May, more than 18,000 cases of monkeypox have been recorded worldwide outside of endemic areas in Africa.
The first symptoms of the disease are high temperature, swollen lymph nodes and a rash similar to chicken pox.
World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Wednesday that the disease has been reported in 78 countries, with 70% of cases concentrated in Europe and 25% in the United States.
About 10% of cases require hospitalization for pain relief. In most cases, the patients are young people who have sex with men and mainly live in cities.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization clearly recommended that the group at high risk of the disease should reduce the number of sexual partners.
During a press conference in Geneva, the organization’s director-general said the best way is to reduce the risk of infection.
Monkey pox is now considered a sexually transmitted disease, and anyone can get it, while direct skin-to-skin contact and infected sheets or clothing are transmission factors.
The World Health Organization also emphasizes the need to avoid any stigma attached to a particular group, so that its members do not have to hide the disease rather than seek treatment, and then the disease continues to spread.
Currently, the World Health Organization insists that vaccines are not available for everyone, so it recommends that priority should be given to those at high risk, those who are sick and those who are treating or researching the disease.
Tedros warned: “It is important to emphasize that the vaccine does not immediately prevent infection or disease, this may take several weeks,” and that after vaccination, precautions must be continued.
Vaccination is carried out in two doses, separated by at least 28 days. For those vaccinated against smallpox in childhood, one dose is sufficient, while a third dose is recommended for those who are immunocompromised.
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