Smallpox: 7 cases in France, first vaccinations, fears of more contamination … Situation update

Smallpox: 7 cases in France, first vaccinations, fears of more contamination ... Situation update


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Smallpox, which was detected in Europe in early May, continues to be a cause for concern.

Contamination, vaccinations, sanitation, … La Dépêche du Midi balances the situation with monkeypox.

Low mortality

Smallpox belongs to the same family as smallpox, which killed millions of people around the world every year until they were eradicated in 1980. However, smallpox is much less severe, with a mortality of 3 to 6%.

Most patients recover after three to four weeks. The initial symptoms are high fever, swollen nodules and skin rashes.

7 cases in France

According to the latest report published by Santé Publique France on Friday 27 May, there are currently 7 proven cases of monkeypox in France. It was also a number quoted by Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon on Wednesday during a trip to the Pasteur Institute. She made it clear that they were not people who traveled.

“We do not expect an outbreak, we are taking the necessary measures, so in this case it is vigilant, and because it is a virus that we have not seen in Europe,” the minister said on Wednesday. “So far the situation is under control, it is under control,” she said. The minister also said that next Monday she would discuss with her European counterparts the “strategies we are going to adopt” about the disease.

More than 200 worldwide

The United Kingdom announced the first case on 7 May. Since then, about 200 cases have been detected in countries far from those where the virus is endemic. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), exactly 219 cases were reported on Wednesday – but no deaths.

Smallpox, endemic in eleven West and Central African countries, has been suddenly detected in more than twenty other countries around the world, including the United States, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and a dozen European countries.

The Spanish Ministry of Health reported 98 confirmed cases on Friday, the United Kingdom 90 and Portugal 74. In the latter country, all cases are men, mostly under the age of 40.

First contact case vaccines

In the face of the monkeypox cases in its opinion, the Supreme Health Authority recommended vaccinating adults, including health professionals who had risky contact with the patient.

The first vaccination took place. The first two people, considered cases of contact with a chickenpox patient, were vaccinated on Friday, May 27 in Paris at the Bichat Hospital, according to the BFMTV Directorate General of Health.

Enough inventory

Brigitte Bourguignon then stated that “recommendations have been made for identification, detection and subsequent isolation”. As soon as the “authorities are recommended” to vaccinate those who are in contact with the disease, “we are ready,” she said.

“Stocks are, we have strategic stocks and it will be targeted vaccination, we are not talking about total vaccination,” Brigitte Bourguignon told RTL. “Out of caregiver” in contact with the patient, these are “contact cases” around the patient.

Only the “tip of the iceberg”

“We don’t know if we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg,” said Sylvie Briand, director of the WHO’s Global Preparedness for Infectious Risk, during a presentation to the organization’s member states about the “unusual” spread of the virus. , during the World Health Assembly in Geneva (Switzerland).

Experts are trying to find out what caused this “unusual situation”, and preliminary results show no variations or mutations in the monkeypox virus, Briand said. “Now we have a chance to stop the transmission,” she said. “If we put in place the right measures now, we’ll probably be able to do it quickly.”



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