The EU considers the risk of large-scale spread of monkeypox to be low

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which is the EU’s designated agency, considers the risk of widespread monkeypox spread to the general population to be low.

It is reported by Ukrinform with reference to the website ECDC.

As emphasized, monkeypox does not spread easily among humans. This occurs only through close contact, for example, through infected particles from ulcers on the patient’s skin, by airborne droplets in case of prolonged contact, and objects on which infected particles have survived.

“According to the epidemiological assessment of ECDC, the likelihood of spreading monkeypox among people who have many sexual partners is high. While most patients experience mild symptoms during an outbreak, the virus can cause severe illness in some groups (young children, pregnant women, immunocompromised people), but the likelihood of severe cases is difficult to estimate. The overall risk is assessed as moderate for those with many sexual partners and low for the general population,” the agency said in a statement.

The agency notes that in the case of this outbreak, the fact that among the patients there are many men who have had sexual contact with other men, and the nature of the lesion in some cases suggests that the infection occurred during sexual intercourse.

Treatment for monkeypox infection is symptomatic and supportive. The smallpox vaccine may be considered to prevent close contacts of patients from the disease if these people may have a severe course of the disease. In the case of a severe course, the use of antiviral drugs may be considered, the agency notes.

ECDC recommends that European countries put in place a system to rapidly detect, track and report new cases and check stocks of smallpox vaccine as well as appropriate antiviral drugs.

Patients are advised to remain in quarantine until the rash has completely disappeared and to avoid contact with people with weak immunity and pets, and during this time to refrain from bodily contact with others.

Contacts are advised to monitor for symptoms for up to 21 days after exposure.

It is also emphasized that in Europe there is a potential risk of transmission of the disease from humans to animals, but so far no such cases are known.

Read also: The Ministry of Health urges not to panic – monkeypox virus has not been detected in Ukraine

Monkeypox, which normally only occurs in Africa, is now spreading to Europe and North America, Ukrinform reported.

On May 7, the first case of the disease was recorded in the UK: the patient returned from Nigeria a few weeks ago. Two weeks later, monkeys with smallpox were recorded in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Australia.

The first case of monkeypox infection was reported in 1970.

Infection usually occurs through close contact. The virus can enter the body through broken skin, respiratory tract, mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth. The disease is transmitted by contact with an infected animal (monkey, rat, squirrel), from an infected person to a person or through objects – clothing, bedding.

The incubation period lasts from 6 to 16 days. A person usually develops a fever, headaches, muscle pain, overwork. Subsequently, a characteristic rash appears on the body. Most often, the disease resolves on its own in two to three weeks. But in some cases, the disease is severe. The mortality rate ranges from 1 to 15%. Children are the most difficult to tolerate this disease.

Monkeypox has already been reported in 14 countries.

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