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Monkey pox: what we know about the virus currently circulating – Futura


This will also interest you. These 20 patients are mostly young men. So far, no deaths have been reported. While this is not the first occurrence of the virus outside Africa – cases of monkeypox imported from Nigeria were reported in England, Israel and Singapore in 2018 – it remains unusual in its scale and lack of apparent link with sub-Saharan Africa where the disease is endemic. Let’s take stock of the monkeypox virus that is currently circulating in Europe and North America.Where did monkeypox come from?Monkeypox virus belongs to the family Poxviridae and to the genus Orthopoxvirus like the human smallpox virus, eradicated today thanks to a global vaccination campaign, and vaccinia. It was first discovered in 1958 in Denmark, in laboratory monkeys that showed rashes typical of the disease. Its name comes from there, but it is not an exclusively simian virus, it can infect a wide variety of mammals including rodents and humans. The first human case of monkeypox was identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease, meaning that humans contract it following exposure to an infected animal ( bite, scratch, biological fluids) or by eating undercooked meat. Human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through respiratory droplets and requires prolonged face-to-face contact. Sexual intercourse is therefore conducive to the spread of the virus, but this does not make it a sexually transmitted infection. It can also be transmitted through contact with biological fluids, skin lesions, or contaminated surfaces. clade “Congo Basin”. According to the first sequencing data, obtained from a Portuguese sample taken on May 4, the strain currently circulating belongs to the “West Africa” clade and is thought to be related to that responsible for the 2018 cases. du Congo” have a lethality rate around 10%, while that of the “West Africa” ​​clade is 1 to 2% in the general population, but around 5 to 6% when we consider immunocompromised patients or infected with HIV. This is much less than the 30 to 50% lethality of smallpox. Further genomic analyzes are expected to understand the origin of the cases and the link between them. Can the smallpox vaccine come to the rescue? Since the eradication of smallpox, the last vaccine designed (IMVANEX® in Europe, JYNNEOS® in the United States, and IMVAMUNE® in Canada) against the latter is no longer administered, but it could come out of the freezers to fight against cases of monkeypox. Bavarian Nordic, the pharmaceutical company that produces it, has signed a contract with a European country, not mentioned in the press release, to supply it with doses. IMVANEX® has been authorized by the European Medicines Agency since 2013, on an exceptional basis, against smallpox but not against monkeypox for which there are no safety and efficacy data. Rather than a vaccination massive, it is a ring strategy – vaccinating confirmed cases and their contact – which could be preferred. The health authorities of the countries concerned should soon decide on the approach to be adopted to limit the spread of cases of monkeypox; the involvement of the smallpox vaccine remains to be confirmed. Interested in what you just read?


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