Monkey pox: symptoms, vaccinations, duration of the disease … can we compare monkey pox to Covid?

Monkey pox: symptoms, vaccinations, duration of the disease ... can we compare monkey pox to Covid?

The smallpox that occurs on French territory still leaves many questions unanswered. The disease has some similarities to Covid-19.

A new worrying disease in Europe: smallpox, although the Covid site is not completely turned. England was the first to sound the alarm. In France, health authorities confirmed 17 cases this Monday, May 30.

In which regions are monkeypox cases in France?

Seventeen cases confirmed at 14:00 went to Ile-de-France (13), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (1), Occitanie (2), Normandy (1). Most sufferers are men who have sex with other men (MSM), but not exclusively, the agency recalls. “In France, infections with this virus have long been monitored by a mandatory reporting system,” said Public Health France, which has stepped up its monitoring.

The unusual presence of monkeypox in Europe and the absence of a direct link between confirmed cases and “risk areas” are a “warning” for health authorities. The intra-European contamination then seems to be confirmed. France regularly exchanges contacts with other European countries on this topic.

Should we be afraid of a new epidemic? Can we compare the situation with the Covid pandemic? We carry out inventory.

Common symptoms

The main point of comparison between the two diseases is at the level of symptoms, but not all. Common symptoms include fever, severe tiredness or exhaustion, headache and body aches. These feelings may appear several days after contamination (between 5 and 21 days for chickenpox, 3 to 14 days for Covid).

Following these symptoms, monkeypox progresses and causes rashes, which is not the case with coronavirus.

Similar duration of the disease

Monkey pox lasts two to four weekswhile Covid-19 is a disease whose symptoms disappear in most cases within two to three weeks. However, some patients may still experience symptoms more than four weeks after infection.

In a press release, the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) describes monkeypox as an “unusual phenomenon”. Unlike Covid-19, where the incubation period is five days, monkey pox time can range from five to twenty-one daysaccording to the first analyzes submitted by our colleagues from CNews.

And what about the method of transmission?

Unlike coronavirus, “monkey pox is not easily transmitted between humans,” says Dr. Colin Brown, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UK Health Security Agency, to our colleagues at Republican East.

As a reminder, to infect diseases it is necessary to have and close contact with an infected patient chickenpox. In order to become infected, a person had to be exposed to “damage to the skin, mucous membranes, airway droplets, infected body fluids, or even contact with contaminated laundry.”

Contact cases

In a press release dated 25 May 2022, Public Health France defined the case of monkeypox as follows:Anyone who has had direct, unprotected physical contact with damaged skin or biological fluids of a probable or confirmed symptomatic case, regardless of circumstances including sexual intercourse, acts of medical or non-medical care or sharing of toiletries, or contact with textiles (clothing, bath linen, bedding) or dirty containers used probable or confirmed symptomatic case.

“Anyone who has had unprotected contact within 2 meters for three hours with a probable or confirmed symptomatic case (eg close or close friend, people sharing the same living space without intimate connection, neighbor for long-term transport, people sharing the same office, act of care or hygiene, same school classroom, university classroom TD, contact sports sports club, sports halls, etc.).

For Covid, the health insurance company defines the contact case as follows:

A person is a contact case if they have been in contact with a person who is positive for Covid-19 without effective protective measures. which are :

  • physical separation isolating the contact person from the confirmed or probable case by creating two spaces without communication;
  • a surgical or FFP2 mask or a fabric mask with a “general filtration rate greater than 90%” (corresponding to category 1 (Afnor)) worn by a confirmed or probable case or a contact person.
  • have direct contact with a person positive on Covid-19, face to face, at a distance of less than 2 meters, regardless of duration (example: interview, food, physical contact);
  • providing or accepting hygiene or care services to a positive (or likely positive) person on Covid-19;
  • sharing interior spaces (office or meeting room, car, etc.) for at least 15 consecutive or cumulative minutes in 24 hours with a positive person or staying face to face with several episodes of coughing or sneezing.

Another significant difference: recent cases of monocypox have occurred primarily, but not exclusively, in men who have sex with men. While coronavirus affects all categories of the population.

Vaccination against Covid and smallpox

In a report released on May 24, the High Health Authority called for an “active vaccination strategy” to stop it.

“HAS today recommends the implementation of a reactive vaccination strategy, ie around a confirmed case: adults whose contact with an infected person is considered risky, including healthcare professionals exposed without personal protective measures,” she said in a statement. So there can be no question of vaccinating the entire population. It has nothing to do with the vaccination campaign against Covid in France.

Less fatal risks

In Africa, the main affected continent, the WHO estimates that smallpox mortality is between 1 and 10%. Covid did much more damage Since the beginning of the pandemic, 6.27 million people have died worldwide.=

This should also be noted previous cases found outside West Africa have not led to a pandemic. In 2003, about 70 cases of monkeypox were identified in the United States, “the first outbreak outside the African continent,” the WHO said, but it did not lead to an epidemic.

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