He is a 29-year-old young man from Gran Canaria who is treated by El Negrín but recovers at home. That the virus reached the islands was “a matter of time”, says Public Health
The Ministry of Health notified yesterday the
first suspected case of monkeypox in the Canary Islands. A 29-year-old man who had
high fever and chickenpox-like hives and had had unprotected sex. "It was about time. There will be cases in the rest of the communities and the Canary Islands were not going to be oblivious to this, ”said the director of Public Health, Juan José Alemán, yesterday.
"The particularity of the current outbreak is that it affects several countries simultaneously and is occurring with a pattern of sexual transmission by
risky sexual practices» explained Aleman. This pattern, he added, “is going to help us stop the chains of contacts that are reduced to certain people and who are collaborators with the recommendations. The mildness and low contagiousness of this disease -
come into contact with the body fluids of the infected person- makes us think that it will be a punctual phenomenon, but we have to wait, "he added.
The suspected case in Gran Canaria is evolving favorably at home, although under the supervision of the Negrín health teams.
Yesterday, Italy also confirmed a first case in a
young man who had traveled to the Canary Islands and of which Health has no record that it is from the islands.
For its part, the Ministry of Health prepares the
purchase of thousands of traditional smallpox vaccines They also serve to stop the monkey virus. Carolina Darias' department explained yesterday that "through the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products, it is assessing and analyzing different therapeutic options based on their viability and effectiveness, such as
antivirals and vaccines». Thus, in addition to vaccines, Health studies acquiring medicines to treat patients who already suffer from the disease.
The vaccine, manufactured by the Danish laboratory Bavarian Nordik, is called Imvanex and was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2013 only for traditional smallpox, although the FDA (the United States regulator) he also gave the green light for monkeypox. It is administered in two doses of 0.5 milliliters, with an interval of 28 days.
The EMA explains that Imvanex contains a modified form of the virus called 'Ankara cowpox', which does not cause disease in humans and cannot replicate (reproduce) in human cells. Due to its similarity to the smallpox virus,
antibodies produced against this virus also protect against smallpox. In principle, this compound would be administered in Spain by the ring strategy, which consists of injecting the doses to the contacts of the confirmed patients and, in turn, to the people who have had a close relationship with these contacts.
Health had confirmed seven cases in Spainwhile
another 29 remain under study, all in Madrid, except one in Gran Canaria. The National Center for Microbiology is analyzing 25 samples from these suspected cases through PCR, which allows a differential diagnosis of the four types of viruses of the orthopoxvirus family. Later, sequencing makes it possible to determine whether or not it is monkeypox. In the rest of the world, the trickle of infections is constant. The United Kingdom, the first country to launch the health alert, has confirmed nine patients; Portugal, five; and Sweden and Italy have already notified one patient each.
Europe has not approved any specific vaccine against monkeypox and has therefore asked member states to administer the smallpox formula. "If smallpox vaccines are available in the country, vaccination of high-risk close contacts should be considered after a risk-benefit assessment," the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said yesterday. in an informative note, in which he highlighted the high efficacy of the traditional smallpox vaccine against the monkey virus.
“The protective effect of the smallpox vaccine against monkeypox infection has been demonstrated in studies conducted in the 1980s, which showed a
efficiency up to 85%», explains the ECDC in a document for professionals.