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Health confirms that the analyzes of the first seven suspected cases of monkeypox have tested positive


The Community of Madrid has another 22 patients under study, a figure that hospital sources raise to almost fifty

Skin rash on a patient with monkeypox virus in Illinois in 2003.Getty Images

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, reported on Wednesday night that the first seven samples analyzed by PCR at the National Center for Microbiology (CNM) from patients suspected of suffering from monkeypox have tested positive.

In an interview on La Sexta, Darias described these results as "preliminary" pending genetic sequencing, the results of which are expected to be obtained this Thursday.

The Community of Madrid, for its part, has put the number of patients whose symptoms suggest that they have contracted the monkeypox virus at 22, in addition to the seven already confirmed by the CNM.

Over the next few days it is expected that the results of the pending tests will be known.

Some of the patients had been treated previously and have now been identified when doctors review their medical records retrospectively after the international alert received from the United Kingdom last weekend.

Two affected have required hospitalization, although the evolution of all patients is favorable.

It has not transpired so far that there are more cases in other autonomous communities, although all the experts consulted point out that it is foreseeable that they will begin to emerge in the coming days.

The general director of Public Health of the Community, Elena Andradas, has reported that "22 of the 23 suspected cases have explained that they have had relationships with other men in recent weeks."

This fact confirms what was observed in the United Kingdom and Portugal, where almost all of the 14 confirmed patients have manifested the same.

This opens up a scenario that worries experts: the existence of active and unidentified chains of infection between men who have homosexual relationships.

Andradas explained that suspected cases must be isolated in their homes, while their close contacts "must reduce their social interactions as much as possible and maintain close surveillance for the possible appearance of symptoms."

Monkeypox is a disease that has not been identified in Spain until now and is caused by a virus endemic to the jungle areas of Africa.

Infections occur through close contact (exchange of body fluids and large drops of saliva).

After an incubation period that goes from 6 to 13 days, although sometimes it can reach up to 21, the symptoms it causes are a fever higher than 38.5 degrees;

intense pain in the head, joints, muscles and back;

Swelling of the lymph nodes;

and a characteristic skin rash with blisters that progress to pustules.

Although mortality in outbreaks in African countries is estimated at between 1% and 10%, experts agree that in developed countries it will be much lower and that the people most at risk are those with a weakened immune system. for other pathologies.

The evolution in healthy people is usually good and the symptoms remit after two or three weeks.

Four hospital sources consulted by EL PAÍS raise the number of patients treated in the last two days in hospitals in the region to "between 40 and 50".

There are 16 patients from the Clinical Hospital pending confirmation of results, a dozen from the Twelve of October and several cases in the Gregorio Marañón, Ramón y Cajal and Fundación Jiménez Díaz hospitals.

"We receive information about suspicious cases in most of the large hospitals in the region," explains a hospital official, based on the data shared by the communication channels maintained by dermatology, emergency, infectious disease and microbiology specialists, among others. .

The general director of Public Health of the Community admits that the data offered by the regional government may continue to rise because they correspond to 5:30 p.m. this Wednesday and that the flow of patients to the emergency services has not stopped.

On some occasions, adds Andradas, the data can also be corrected downwards if some suspected cases are diagnosed with other diseases.

“It has been a hectic day, much more than we expected.

We are seeing the first symptoms of infections that occurred a week or two ago.

The foreseeable thing is that for a few more days we will continue to see a significant number of patients ”, explains the head of a large public hospital in Madrid.

Europe is experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox, a disease for which only a few imported cases have so far been identified in people who have traveled to endemic countries.

Some local contagion had also occurred in countries such as the United Kingdom, always between people living with the patient and health personnel.

But the number of cases that are being detected in recent days had never been recorded.

The United Kingdom has confirmed nine and is investigating several more, while Portugal has confirmed the presence of the virus in five patients and has another 20 under study.

The United States, for its part, confirmed the first case last night in a person who had recently traveled to Canada.

The experts and specialists consulted are torn between concern about the sudden increase in suspected cases and the peace of mind provided by scientific evidence.

“We had never seen anything like this nor were there references to monkeypox being transmitted so quickly in a similar way to a sexually transmitted disease,” explains a department head at a Madrid hospital.

“But I don't think we are at the beginning of an epidemic.

Now many cases will surface because there are chains of transmission going on, but once we know more or less the total number of those affected, it should not be difficult to control the outbreak, ”he adds.

Natalia Rodríguez, deputy of the International Health Service of the Hospital Clínic (Barcelona), considers that “it is good that the information on these first cases has come out and that surveillance is increased, because the virus is not really very transmissible and usually causes outbreaks. small, with few transmissions beyond the first case.

The novelty of this outbreak, she adds, is that the pathogen has begun to circulate among the group of men who have homosexual relationships, which has facilitated its spread during the weeks that it has not been detected.

Jacob Lorenzo Morales, director of the Institute of Tropical Diseases and Public Health of the Canary Islands, agrees with this assessment.

“It is not a virus that is transmitted massively, such as the coronavirus or others that are transmitted by air.

Yes, it is one more scare that we get due to the ecological imbalances caused by human beings.

We enter and alter ecosystems.

And we give the viruses that live there a chance to reach us and begin to circulate among people, as has already happened with Ebola, Zika or the coronavirus itself, ”he concludes.

Source: elparis

All life articles on 2022-05-18

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