from the newsroom
The first confirmed case of monkeypox in Brazil was a 41-year-old man who was treated in isolation at the Emilio Ribas Hospital in São Paulo. According to the Sao Paulo Ministry of Health, the man had recently been in Europe, passing through Spain and Portugal,
In Portugal alone, there have been 209 confirmed cases of human infection with monkeypox virus, plus 18 patients in the past 24 hours, according to the Directorate General of Health (DGS).
Of the nine suspected cases of monkeypox (monkeypox) in Brazil as of Wednesday, one in Ceara had been ruled out. Among the other suspected cases, there are 5 males and 3 females. According to the Ministry of Health’s monkeypox disease department, there are currently two cases under monitoring in the hospital.
The Situation Room aims to disseminate guidance on responding to cases of the disease in Brazil, as well as direct surveillance actions on the country’s case definitions, notification procedures, laboratory procedures and epidemiological investigations.
Of the eight suspected cases, two were in the state of Santa Catarina, Blue Menau and Dionisio Cerqueira. Rondônia is monitoring the other two. “They are a couple from Rio Crespo (RO),” he said.
“Three of the suspected cases had travelled outside Brazil,” she added, referring to people from Portugal, Argentina and Bolivia.
Janaína Sallas, a representative of the Ministry of Health Surveillance, detailed that of the eight suspected cases, five were under the age of 28. The five men were between the ages of 15 and 51; and the women were between the ages of 25 and 27.
So far, at least 31 countries have seen an increase in confirmed cases, according to Brazilian authorities. The number is 1,077 cases, most of them in countries where the disease is endemic, on the African continent.
“This disease is an unusual and unexpected event in a non-endemic area. It is a pathogen with a high probability of being transmitted through droplet contact, mainly through bodily fluids, so assistance needs to be ensured – including treatment, laboratory capacity, protective equipment and decontamination,” says Janaína Sallas.
Patricia Carvalho also stressed the importance of notifying as soon as possible suspected cases with signs and symptoms such as fever, rash and swollen glands (a type of tongue). Since it can be spread through bodily fluids, droplets or contaminated materials, she recommends the use of masks and hand washing as precautions.
The Osvaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) also held the first monkeypox laboratory diagnosis training for health professionals from seven Latin American countries on the 9th. The training is an initiative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Ministry of Health and the Osvaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz). Technical staff from national health institutions of Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela participated.
As of the 10th, virus detection and diagnostic procedures will be discussed in the context of preparing for and responding to possible health emergencies. Training includes practical training in molecular diagnostics using real-time PCR methods, a standard protocol adopted by the World Health Organization. In addition to learning how to perform diagnostic tests, professionals will be able to identify virus strains from Central and West Africa.
Wildo Navegantes, representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), spoke about the international epidemiological situation, particularly the cases recorded by Europeans in monkeys infected with smallpox who had not traveled to endemic countries.
“Obviously, the outbreak started in mid-April. There were some cases of transmission related to sexual activity. To a large extent, it involved casual sex and relationships with multiple partners,” he said.
According to experts, the smallpox vaccine has shown good results against this version, which is usually found more in monkeys and rodents. “Unfortunately, a study in the UK showed that only 14% of people in the community would be vaccinated if they were available,” he said.
“But the most incredible thing is that only 69% of contacts who belonged to a group of health workers said that if they had a vaccine they would receive it. We think that something like this involving health professionals data, which should be 100% complied with,” lamented the representative of the Pan American Health Organization.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958, when two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease occurred in groups of monkeys raised for research. The first human case of this variant was recorded in Congo in 1970. It has since been reported in humans in other Central and West African countries.
Monkeypox re-emerged in Nigeria in 2017, after more than 40 years with no reported cases. Since then, the African country has reported more than 450 cases. Between 2018 and 2021, seven cases of monkeypox were reported in the UK, most of them in people with a history of travel to endemic countries.
Monkeypox is endemic in West and Central African countries, but as of May 13, 780 cases have been confirmed in 27 countries outside the region where the disease typically spreads. According to Fiocruz, most of the confirmed cases reported traveling to European and North American countries, not West or Central Africa. In the Americas region, Mexico (1), Argentina (2), the United States (19) and Canada (58) have confirmed cases. In Brazil, there are eight suspected cases in the balance sheet published by the Ministry of Health.