The first case of monkeypox has been identified in Italy. He was identified at the Lazzaro Spallanzani Institute in Rome in a young Italian returning from a stay in the Canary Islands, says Inmi. But what are the symptoms of the disease? How is it transmitted? What is the mortality? A rare viral disease, monkeypox is found mostly in tropical countries in Central and West Africa. It is so named because it was discovered in laboratory monkeys in 1958. Later, animal studies in Africa found evidence of infection in squirrels, which are believed to play an important role as natural hosts of the disease. Human-to-human transmission of the virus occurs with an incubation period of approximately 12 days (7 to 21 days). Read also Symptoms, transmission, duration of the disease This disease is caused by the Monkeypox virus which belongs to the group of orthopoxviruses. In humans, the clinical features of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox. Approximately 12 days after exposure, the disease manifests as fever, headache, body aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, general malaise, and fatigue. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the onset of the fever, the patient develops a pustular rash that usually appears first on the face, but sometimes on other parts of the body as well. The lesions typically develop in several stages before crusting and falling off. The disease usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks. In Africa, monkeypox is fatal in about 10% of people who contract the disease. Mortality from human smallpox was about 30% of cases before the disease was eradicated. Humans can contract monkeypox through a bite or direct contact with blood, body fluids, or injury from an infected animal. The disease could also spread from human to human, however it is far less contagious than human smallpox. The virus is thought to be transmitted orally during direct contact or prolonged face-to-face contact. Additionally, monkeypox can be spread through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person or with items contaminated with the virus such as underwear or clothing. Treatment There is no specific treatment for monkeypox. It has been reported that in Africa the risk of contracting monkeypox is reduced in people previously vaccinated for smallpox. The potential role of the smallpox vaccine in patients exposed to monkeypox is being evaluated. Antiviral drugs, such as cidofovir, are also being evaluated for treatment. How to do it “It will be necessary to study the diffusion and the most important thing is the diagnosis: that no case escapes, to understand if it is a phenomenon that has a wide diffusion. I presume that it is not so”. Massimo Clementi, director of the Laboratory of Microbiology and Virology of the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, explains this to Adnkronos Salute. “Monkeypox – he underlines – has been a minimal threat so far and therefore, if there are no changes of paradigm, such will remain with sporadic cases in countries where there is a prevalence of these animals. So far there have been very few cases. What has surprised in recent times is that people who have not made travel have become ill. hypothesis about this is difficult, until we have enough information on these cases. Until now there were patients with a positive history “for travel to risk areas. “These are not serious cases like smallpox was before vaccination – Clementi points out – And transmissibility is not high”.
What the experts say “About twenty cases have been ascertained so far, we will see many more: we will reach a few thousand”. These are the words of Professor Matteo Bassetti, director of the infectious disease clinic of the San Martino polyclinic in Genoa. “The smallpox vaccine works, those who have not done it are not covered”, added the expert. “Absolutely no panic, but maximum attention”: microbologist Maria Rita Gismondo invites you to stay calm, but act quickly. “For now, these are isolated cases – the director of the Laboratory of clinical microbiology, virology and diagnostics of bio-emergencies of the Sacco hospital in Milan comments to Adnkronos Salute – So they are cases that can be absolutely circumscribed, given that they are correctly reported. and they must be limited now “, urges the expert.