Smallpox: The number of smallpox cases in France has more than doubled in 24 hours

Smallpox: The number of smallpox cases in France has more than doubled in 24 hours

An update on the situation of monkeypox in France showed an acceleration of new cases this weekend. “The situation is changing very quickly,” regrets Public Health France.

A public health situation report in France on 28 May on the spread of smallpox in the country, published this Sunday, 29 May, shows that there are a total of 16 cases, 9 more than the day before.

The number of cases in the country has more than doubled in less than 24 hours. Santé Publique France states that “suspicious cases are being considered in many countries and the situation is therefore changing very rapidly”.

In France, infections with this virus are subject to long-term monitoring through mandatory reporting. “Due to current warnings, surveillance of these infections is being strengthened by the Public Health Office in France and information and warning messages are being sent to health professionals.”

2 cases in Occitania

Four regions are currently affected, as there are 12 cases in Ile-de-France, 1 in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and 2 in Occitania and 1 in Normandy.

“To date, in Europe, these cases have occurred mainly, but not exclusively, in men who have sex with men (MSM), without direct contact with people returning from endemic areas,” the SPF said.

With the usual absence of monkeypox in Europe and the link reported by cases identified with the risk zone, “the current European context is a warning and indicates contamination in Europe”.

As a reminder, smallpox is an infectious disease caused by orthopoxvirus. This zoonotic disease is usually transmitted to humans in forest areas of Central and West Africa by wild rodents or primates, but human-to-human transmission is also possible, especially in the family home or care environment.

The smallpox virus can be transmitted by direct contact with lesions on the skin or mucous membranes of a sick person, as well as droplets (saliva, sneezing, squeaking, etc.). You may also become contaminated by contact with the patient’s surroundings (bedding, clothing, dishes, bath linen, etc.). “It is therefore important that patients respect isolation throughout the illness (until the last crust disappears, usually 3 weeks),” recalls Public Health France.

What symptoms?

Monkeypox virus infection most often begins with fever, which is often high and accompanied by headaches, body pain and asthenia. After about 2 days, a blistering rash appears, consisting of blisters filled with fluid, which progress to drying, crusting and then scarring. Itching may occur. The sacs tend to be concentrated on the face, palms and soles of the feet. The mucous membranes in the mouth and genital area are also affected. The lymph nodes are swollen and painful, under the jaw and neck.

The disease most often heals spontaneously, after 2 to 3 weeks, but sometimes after 4 weeks. The disease is more severe in children and in people with weakened immunity. It can be complicated by superinfection of skin lesions or respiratory, digestive, ophthalmic or neurological disorders.

“At this stage, the cases reported in Europe are mostly mild and no deaths have been reported.”

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