No suspected cases of monkeypox virus infection have been identified in the Azores, but the regional health authority today acknowledged that they may be detected and issued a normative notice outlining the approach to be taken.
“So far, as far as we know, there are still no suspected cases and no confirmed cases in the Azores Autonomous Region,” said Lusa, director of the Berto Cabral Regional Health Authority.
Ricardo Jorge (INSA), a physician at the National Institutes of Health, has identified 209 human cases of monkeypox virus infection in Portugal since the beginning of May.
Most of the infections are in Lisbon and the Tejo Valley, but there are also cases in the north and the Algarve.
Although the virus is not as contagious as SARS-CoV-2, which causes the covid-19 disease, it is “natural” that monkeypox cases may be detected in the region, said the regional director of the Azores Health Authority.
“We have to look at this with concern because cases have arrived in Portugal, where cases have been increasing, naturally with the movement of people, especially now during the summer holidays, it is only natural that a positive case may spread to the region,” he noted.
Berto Cabral said that the normative circular issued for health services and citizen protection in the Azores “is very much in line with the national standards of the Directorate General of Health (DGS)” and “will regulate what healthcare is provided. How should one position themselves in the region and how Handling suspected or confirmed cases”.
“It determines the definition of a case, how a suspected case should be assessed, a suspected case, the approach that should be taken, the referral and clinical approach to these suspected and suspected cases in the face of confirmed cases, the way the case is notified, the laboratory diagnosis itself”, he added.
The regional director of the health department believes that “a situation on the scale of COVID-19 is not expected”.
“It’s a completely different situation, especially because of the different modes of transmission. It’s not expected to spread like covid-19, especially because it’s not going to be a respiratory disease manifestation, it has a more complex side. It’s visible at the skin level, so the method Completely different, and the way it spreads is completely different,” he explained.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1,000 new cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in 29 non-endemic countries since the beginning of May.
The most common symptoms are fever, severe headache, muscle pain, back pain, tiredness, swollen lymph nodes, and the progressive appearance of a rash affecting the skin and mucous membranes.
According to the DGS, lesions typically begin 1 to 3 days after fever, may be flat or slightly raised, have a clear or yellowish fluid, and eventually ulcerate and form a scab, which then dries off.
Infection can spread from person to person through close physical contact, including sexual contact.
Infection can also be spread by touching items such as personal clothing, bedding, towels, cutlery, plates, or other contaminated personal utensils.