The Ministry of Health has launched a alert to the group of autonomous communities after detecting in Madrid eight suspected cases monkey pox. The cases are pending confirmation by the National Center for Microbiology (CNM), as reported by ‘El País’ on Wednesday.
The alert, launched this Tuesday afternoon, comes after Portugal confirm three cases, have another two pending confirmation and another 15 under investigation. Two days before, the The United Kingdom had reported the existence of an outbreak with seven infected.
Monkeypox is a disease endemic to the African continent, where various mammals can transmit it to humans. Causes skin rashes. According to the WHO, it causes a lethality from 1% to 10%, especially among the child population.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that it wants to clarify, with the help of the United Kingdom, the cases of monkeypox detected since the beginning of May, especially among the gay community.
sexual relations between men
Since May 6, seven cases of monkeypox have been detected in the country, including four in people who identify as “homosexual, bisexual or men who have sex with men,” according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
With the exception of the first case – the infected person had recently traveled to Nigeria, in West Africa, where this viral disease is endemic -, the patients were infected in the UK, raising fears of community transmission.
“We are seeing transmissions between men who have sex with men,” which is “new information that we need to study properly to better understand the dynamics” of contagion, said Ibrahima Socé Fall, WHO deputy director-general for emergency interventions.
Another person in charge of the organization, Maria Van Kerkhove, specified that it works “very closely” with the European Center for Disease Control and with the British health security agency to “assess (…) the source of your infection” and conduct a “follow-up exercise”.
For its part, the UKHSA is trying to find a link between the four most recently identified cases, which appear to have all been infected in London.
Not “easily” spread
This disease, caused by a smallpox virus transmitted from animals to humans, is spread by contact with an infected person or their bodily fluids, including saliva. However, according to the UKHSA, the virus does not spread “easily” between people so the risk to the population is “low”.
It usually appears in Africa, there is no treatment for it and it heals on its own.
Its symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue.
can appear rashesoften on the face, and spread to other parts of the body, including the genitals, before going through several stages, crusting over, and falling off.
The UKHSA urged men who have sex with men to be “on the lookout for unusual rashes or lesions”