While health authorities pay close attention to smallpox monkeys, many fear the virus is infected and will suffer the consequences. But is it that serious? Do you suffer from the smallpox virus, do you risk your life, as in the case of Covid-19?
Monkey pox is beginning to cause concern. There are currently more than 200 infections, which are widespread in 19 countries. The disease even reached France, as far as Occitania, where the case was discovered. Health authorities are taking the problem seriously and are already advocating various ways to combat the virus. A scenario that resembles the Covid-19 scenario.
But like the latter, are smallpox a danger to human life? What is his mortality? Do you risk hospitalization in case of infection? Decryption.
CASE. Smallpox: a new epidemic that is beginning to worry the world
Of the 200 currently infected, none have died of smallpox. Several cases have required hospitalization, but mortality remains to be determined. We can still have an overview of smallpox mortality by analyzing the situation in Africa, where, according to Santé Publique France, “there have been 6,000 cases a year in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in recent years”.
“In general, mortality from the smallpox epidemic is 1-10%,” says the WHO. The figures need to be put in perspective, because unfortunately the quality of care provided in some African countries is often lower than the standards of industrialized countries such as France. “With proper care, most patients will recover,” the organization continues. The disease is therefore potentially fatal, but with proper treatment, the fatal outcome remains relatively rare.
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People most likely to develop severe smallpox are “immunocompromised” and “youngest age groups,” again, according to Public Health France: ) should pay special attention to the onset of any deterioration. “In these cases, and depending on your symptoms, hospitalization may occur.
Smallpox: incubation, symptoms, infectivity … how long does the disease last?
Again, it’s rare. When the smallpox epidemic hit the United States in 2003, there were no deaths among the 81 cases diagnosed.
More deadly in Africa than Covid
At present, monkeypox is not on par with Covid-19 and its 6,281,260 deaths worldwide. On the other hand, if we focus on the percentage of people who died in African areas, monkey pox was more deadly compared to the number of reported cases. “This virus, which is from the same family as smallpox, is a problem because [en Afrique] the mortality associated with this disease is higher than that known for SARS-Cov-2, ”confirms Etienne Decroly, virologist, researcher at CNRS.
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In addition to the risk of death, it is above all an epidemic risk that worries the whole world, even though the disease is not deadly: , ”Concludes Antoine Flahault, medical epidemiologist and director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Geneva.
Smallpox: “It is possible that new diseases of this kind will appear,” says Professor Jacques Izopet