No.no alarm yet, but there is some concern about viral disease, monkeypoxdiscovered in three cases in Rome, one confirmed, two awaiting the result of the virus analysis.
The virus, so defined because it was first identified in these animals, is very similar to that of human smallpox although less severeand is found mostly in the Tropical states of central and western Africa.
Monkeypox in Italy: what’s happening
Until now it had mostly affected travelers from Africa, or at most their cohabitants. But, the peculiarity this time, is that from 14 May, instead, About twenty patients tested positive in Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the USA, but without ever having traveled to places at risk.
Possible adaptation to man?
And even if, as the website of the Veronesi Foundationthis is not a new discovery, some outbreaks have already been reported in the past, what worries the experts the most, it is precisely the fact that this time it does not appear that the virus has been “imported”.
That is, it appears that the transmission chains in Europe have no known epidemiological connection with West or Central Africa. The fear is therefore that the ape virus has adapted to humans and has learned to infect individuals of our species without the need for contact with an animal.
Monkeypox: how it is transmitted
Fortunately, the virus it’s not too contagious. In humans it is transmitted or by contactwith for example the pustules of the infected subject, or through saliva, or in case of skin lesions and some promiscuity situations. Risk factors are sleeping in the same bed or eating and drinking from the same plates and glasses.
Symptoms of the disease
Incubation lasts about two weeks and once it occurs it has a duration ranging from 2 to 4 weeks. Of course, as with all diseases, it has more important effects in people immunosuppressed.
Normally it shows up with the typical symptoms of viral diseases: so fever, body aches, headacheswollen lymph nodes and fatigue.
Then they also come skin rashes, as in exanthematous diseaseswhich come in the form of vesicles, pustules and small crusts which tend to spread all over the body.
Smallpox of monkeys: treatments and drugs
At the moment, however, there is no therapy. Generally expect it to pass, perhaps by treating the most important symptoms. So medications for fever if it is high or pains if they are severe.
Outbreaks and vaccines
The fact that the virus is transmitted by direct or very close contact greatly limits outbreaks. The experts then they do not expect a large spread of cases.
The Human smallpox vaccine also protects against that of monkeys. The major problem in this sense is that the vaccination campaign was definitively discontinued in 1981, when the eradication of the disease was declared. Young people are therefore less protected.
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