From left to right: Alessandra Vespignani, director of the Institute of Network Sciences and Honored Professor of the Sternberg Family in the Northeast; Jared Ockler, Deputy Dean of Professional Programs and Postgraduate Students, Director of the Biopharmaceutical Analysis Training Laboratory and Technical Director of the Northeast Life Science Testing Center; and Brandon Dion, an adjunct clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences in the Northeast State. Credit: Matthew Moduna and Adam Glanzman / Northeastern University

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, health experts are seeking to understand the unexpected spread of monkeypox in Massachusetts.

Government officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate the first smallpox monkeys It is known that this case hit the United States this year. His carrier, a man who recently visited Canada, has been isolated at Boston Hospital since May 12. The CDC on Wednesday confirmed he was infected with a less severe West African strain of the virus.

Cases are being investigated in Canada, Australia and eight European countries.

More than two years of COVID-19 have forced people to prepare for the next global health crisis. But northeastern experts say comparing this relatively small outbreak to a pandemic that claimed more than 6 million lives is premature.

“We’ve had monkeypox outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2003,” said Brendan Dion, an associate professor of clinical pharmacy and northeastern health science, referring to an outbreak of more than 70 cases in the United States two decades ago. . “Her transfer is much, much lower than with COVID. So that’s something you may know, but at this point don’t panic.”

If cases of monkeypox are exacerbated to cause greater levels of concern, experts note that its symptoms will become more noticeable and the virus will be more treatable than SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, especially in the early stages. stages of the pandemic.

“I would describe the scattering of cases as rather confusing in the sense that the situation is evolving hour by hour,” said Alessandra Vespignani, director of the Institute of Network Sciences and Honored Professor of the Sternberg Family in the Northeast. “The outbreak is pretty significant, and obviously we need to understand what’s going on.”

CDC describes monkeypox as “a rare but potentially serious viral disease that usually begins with flu-like illness and swollen lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body”.

The virus was detected in 1958 in research monkeys and was first reported in humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. No infection was reported in humans for four decades before monkeypox reappeared in 2017. In the last five years, less than 500 cases have been reported, the vast majority of which have been kept in Nigeria.

A West African strain that infected a Boston patient is deadly in about 1% of patients. (Alternatively, the Congo Basin strain has a mortality rate of 10%). According to John Hopkins, the death rate from COVID-19 in the US is 1.2%, based on confirmed cases.

The initial spread of the disease to Portugal, the United Kingdom and Spain has raised concerns that the virus is spreading more easily than before. But Vespignani says conclusions about increasing the number of transfers cannot be made without a clear understanding of patients ’histories, their communities, travel patterns and other factors.

It is important not to overreact at this early stage, says Jared Ockler, director of the Biopharmaceutical Analysis Training Laboratory in the Northeast.

“We all have hypersensitivity to viruses now because of COVID,” says Ockler, who is also the technical director of the Northeast Life Sciences Testing Center. “People need to watch for symptoms, and if they get lesions or smallpox, then go to the doctor. But, in general, it’s not too much to worry about.”

The CDC notes that the virus can be transmitted by respiratory droplets under close conditions. It can also be spread through contact with body fluidsmonkeypox ulcers or items (including clothing and bedding) contaminated with fluid or wounds.

These ulcers can help identify carriers in the latter stage, which, as Vespignani notes, can help limit the spread if contact tracking is needed.

The most promising is that the existing smallpox vaccine is effective against monkeypox. Widespread smallpox vaccination has been the cause of monkeypox for more than 40 years, says Vespignani.

“Fortunately, we have a vaccine,” says Vespignani, although he notes that stocks are currently small.

According to the CDC, conventional household disinfectants are effective against monkeypox on surfaces.

Although monkeypox was first detected in monkeys, the name of the virus is erroneous, Dion says.

“Actually it comes from rodents, and mostly in some parts of Africa,” Dion says. “What is unique now is that we have seen it in people who do not travel to endemic areas. And here’s the question: how do we now see such outbreaks in people who have not traveled to a famous area where they have business?”

“But overall,” he added, “the risk of infection for everyone is still very low.”


A monkey case has been reported in the United States in Massachusetts


Citation: Is monkeypox the next COVID-19? Here’s what we know (2022, May 23), received May 23, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-monkeypox-covid-.html

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