The EU calls on governments to "focus on early identification, tracing and reporting" of monkeypox cases. In a rapid risk assessment released Monday, The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recommends that EU countries “update their contact tracing mechanisms, orthopoxvirus diagnostic capacity, and review the availability of smallpox vaccines, antivirals, and emergency equipment.” personal protection for health professionals”.
Between May 15 and 23, a total of 85 cases of monkeypox have been reported in eight EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden). “Diagnosed cases of monkeypox are predominantly among men who have sex with men, suggesting that transmission may take place during intimate relationships,” states the ECDC: “Transmission may occur through close contact of the mucosa or skin with infectious material from lesions, or through large respiratory droplets prolonged face-to-face contact”.
"Most of the current cases have presented with mild symptoms of the disease and, for the general population, the probability of spread is very low," said Andrea Ammon, director of the ECDC. "However, the likelihood of further spread of the virus through close contact, for example during sexual activities between people with multiple sexual partners, is high."
Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, added: “I am concerned about the increase in the number of monkeypox cases reported in the EU and around the world. We are closely monitoring the situation and while the probability of spread in the general population is currently low, the situation is evolving. We must remain vigilant, ensure adequate contact tracing and diagnostic capacity is in place, and ensure we have the necessary vaccines, antivirals, and personal protective equipment available to healthcare professionals. We have been in close contact with Member States since the first reports of monkeypox virus cases in the EU and stand ready to support and coordinate the EU response with all the resources at the EU's disposal. The EU Health Security Committee will discuss monkeypox tomorrow, and our Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), ECDC and EMA are working closely together to ensure that information on the epidemiological situation and availability of vaccines and treatments is guaranteed”.
The monkeypox virus can cause severe disease in certain population groups, such as young children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised individuals. “Further research is needed to accurately estimate the level of morbidity and mortality in this outbreak,” says the ECDC: “If human-to-animal transmission occurs and the virus spreads in an animal population, there is a risk that the disease becomes endemic in Europe. As such, there should be close collaboration between human and veterinary public health authorities to control exposed pets and prevent the disease from spreading to animal life."
“Infected people should remain isolated until the scabs fall off and should especially avoid close contact with immunosuppressed people and pets,” says the community body: “It is also recommended to refrain from sexual activity and close physical contact until the infection heals. rash. Most cases can stay at home with supportive care."
He adds: “Close contacts of monkeypox cases should self-monitor for the development of symptoms for 21 days after the last exposure. ECDC will continue to closely monitor developments and update the risk assessment as new data and information become available.”