From the editorial office
The first confirmed case of monkeypox in Brazil is a 41-year-old man who was hospitalized in isolation at the Emílio Ribas Hospital in Sao Paulo. According to the Sao Paulo Ministry of Health, the man was recently in Europe, passing through Spain and Portugal,
In Portugal alone, 209 confirmed cases of human infection with the monkeypox virus have been confirmed by the General Directorate of Health (DGS), plus 18 patients in the last 24 hours.
As of Wednesday, of the nine suspected cases of monkeypox (monkeypox) in Brazil, one has already been ruled out, in Ceará. Other suspicious cases include five men and three women. The hospitals are monitoring two cases, the Situation Room for Monkeypox of the Ministry of Health said.
The situation room aims to distribute guidelines for responding to cases of this disease in Brazil, as well as direct surveillance activities related to case definition, notification process, laboratory flow and epidemiological research in the country.
Patricia Carvalho, a member of the room command, said during a webinar promoted by the ministry that, among the eight suspicious cases, two were in Santa Catarina, in the municipalities of Blumenau and Dionísio Cerqueira. Two more are being monitored in Rondônia. “They’re a couple from Rio Crespo (RO),” he said.
“Of the suspicious cases, three have a history of traveling outside Brazil,” she added, referring to people who came from Portugal, Argentina and Bolivia.
The representative of the Department of Health Supervision, Janaína Sallas, stated that, out of eight cases in a suspicious situation, five are under 28 years old. Five men are aged between 15 and 51; and females, aged between 25 and 27.
So far, according to Brazilian authorities, there has been an increase in confirmed cases in at least 31 countries. The number is 1,077 cases, mostly in countries where the disease is endemic, and which are located on the African continent.
“This disease is an unusual and unexpected event in non-endemic areas. It is an agent with great potential for transmission by contact through droplets, mainly through body fluids, and there is a need to provide assistance – which includes treatment, laboratory facilities, protective equipment and decontamination, ”said Janaína Sallas.
Patricia Carvalho also stressed the importance of reporting suspicious cases showing signs and symptoms such as fever, skin rash and adenomegaly (type of tongue) as soon as possible. As transmission can take place through body fluids, drops or contaminated materials, she suggests, as a preventative measure, the use of masks and hand washing.
The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) is also the 9th host of the first training on laboratory diagnosis of monkeypox for health professionals from seven Latin American countries. The training is an initiative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO), the Ministry of Health and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz). Technicians from national health institutes from Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela are participating.
By 10, virus detection and diagnostic procedures in the context of preparation and response to a possible health emergency will be discussed. The training includes practical training for performing molecular diagnostics using real-time PCR methodology (standard protocol adopted by the World Health Organization). In addition to learning how to perform diagnostic testing, professionals will be able to identify strains of the virus that originate in Central and West Africa.
A representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Wildo Navegantes, spoke about the international epidemiological scenario, especially the cases of smallpox in monkeys registered in Europeans who became ill without going to endemic countries.
“The epidemic reportedly began in mid-April. There are some cases of transmission related to sexual activities. “To a large extent, including casual sex with multiple partners,” he said.
According to experts, the smallpox vaccine shows good results against this version, which is usually more present in monkeys and rodents. “Unfortunately, a study conducted in the UK showed that only 14% of people in the community would get the vaccine if they had access to it,” he said.
“But it is most incredible that only 69 percent of contacts who belong to the group of health workers said that if they had the vaccine at their disposal, they would accept to take it. We believe that such data, which includes 100% of health workers, should be adhered to “, complained the PAHO representative.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958, when two smallpox-like epidemics occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. The first human case of this variant was recorded in 1970 in Congo. It was later reported in humans in other Central and West African countries.
Monkeypox reappeared in Nigeria in 2017 after more than 40 years with no reported cases. Since then, more than 450 cases have been reported in the African country. Between 2018 and 2021, seven cases of monkeypox were reported in the UK, mostly in people traveling to endemic countries.
Monckeypox is endemic in West and Central African countries, but by May 13, 780 cases had been confirmed in 27 countries outside the area where the disease usually circulates. According to Fiocruz, most people with confirmed cases reported travel to European and North American countries rather than West or Central Africa. In the Americas region, cases have been confirmed in Mexico (1), Argentina (2), the United States (19) and Canada (58). There were eight suspicious cases in Brazil, in the balance sheet published by the Ministry of Health.