The Ministry of Health has so far registered 30 cases of non-human smallpox. In 7 of them, the Carlos III Health Institute has confirmed that it is monkeypox. In another 23 samples they have determined that it is non-human smallpox and they are waiting for the sequencing of the virus to confirm what specific type it is.
Seven questions to understand what monkeypox is and how to act
The 30 confirmed infections have occurred in the Community of Madrid, which is also studying another 15 suspected cases. The Canary Islands, meanwhile, have reported two suspected infections; Castilla-La Mancha and Andalusia have each detected a suspect and Extremadura has warned of the first suspicion of monkeypox in a woman in the country.
Spain is the country that has reported the most cases. Portugal has twenty confirmed infections and more than a dozen suspects, while the United Kingdom has also detected twenty confirmed cases and another twenty pending study. Added to these are three confirmed infections in Italy, two in Belgium, two in Canada, one in Australia, one in Sweden and one in the United States.
The Community of Madrid has closed a sauna for "public health reasons" as it has been a "focus of contagion" of this disease, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health. The counselor, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, has stated that the majority of positives reported in the region are linked to this focus and has advanced that the Community would make "a more detailed analysis" and collect the necessary information "to control infections, cut the chains of transmission and preferably try to attenuate the transmission of the virus as much as possible.
The State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans, Bisexuals, Intersexuals and more (FELGTBI+) has asked not to link the disease with the LGTBI collective because doing so "creates a stigma that, if it settles, is very difficult to combat". He has warned that "disinformation" can have a double pernicious effect: in addition to "stigmatizing vulnerable groups", it generates "a false sense of invulnerability in the rest of the population".
Several experts warn that assuming that the virus only circulates sexually and among men is wrong. “It is not a sexually transmitted disease, like HIV or gonorrhea, because it can be transmitted through other types of routes, such as respiratory secretions or skin wounds,” explained María del Mar Tomás, a microbiologist at the A Coruña hospital and spokesperson for the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) in statements to elDiario.es. The requirement for transmission is very close contact, such as that which occurs in sex, but not only in this circumstance: "It is not a very contagious airborne virus, but it can be transmitted if sheets, towels, glasses are shared... ”, adds Thomas.
The latest situation report from the Ministry of Health indicates that the main route of transmission from person to person is large respiratory droplets, as well as direct contact with body fluids, infected secretions or contaminated objects, such as clothing, and even from mother to child. for the placenta. The symptoms are fever, chills, and inguinal lymphadenopathy, but what most complicates the disease are the skin lesions it produces on the face and hands.
The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps) is analyzing the different options of antivirals and vaccines available based on their viability and efficacy against this unusual disease endemic to central and western Africa. Among them, the Imnavex vaccine, developed by Bavarian Nordic, stands out, and which the Community of Madrid has asked Health to acquire as soon as possible, since if it is administered in the first four days after contact occurs, it largely eliminates the symptoms that can have the disease.