In one month, monkeypox has increased the number of cases fivefold, doubled the number of infected countries and led to a global emergency declaration. The experts consulted by Efe maintain that epidemiological surveillance fails but also the doses of vaccines received are insufficient.
“The isolation of the sick is not done very well nor is contact tracing,” Spanish Association of Vaccinology (AEV) vice-president Fernando Moraga-Llop told Efe, insisting that vaccines are another problem to be solved because with the 5 000 doses received so far in Spain, where there are more than 3,000 cases, contacts cannot be vaccinated.
Moraga-Llop believes that the international alert decreed by the WHO, when 16,000 cases have been reached in 75 countries, is “necessary and appropriate”, but maintains that it comes “a little late and with few vaccines”.
“It was adopted in July and could have been decided a month ago, at the June 21 meeting, and so time would have been saved to coordinate and put in place measures to stop transmission,” he says. .
Although it is obvious that monkeypox is not as serious as covid-19, it has the characteristics of an international expansion, the vice-president of the AEV specifies that defends the administration of the third generation vaccine against monkeypox those who have been in contact with infected people and the population at risk.
Among these candidates are people who work in places where there have been outbreaks (such as saunas) and laboratory personnel who have come into contact with the virus, who are at higher risk due to practices sex with different partners or those taking pre-exposure HIV proxylasis (PrEP).
By age, The vaccine is recommended for administration to the population between 18 and 45 years of age. From the age of 18, according to the data sheet and the limit of 45 years is linked to the last case of smallpox in 1977, it is understood that people born before this year have received the classic vaccine and are protected.
Moraga-Llop adds that it should be given within the first four days of contact exposure, doing it later only lessens the severity of the disease.
In short, he specifies, it is not a question of vaccinating the whole population because it is not necessary and in the event that it is necessary to prioritize because of a shortage of serums, it will be necessary to follow the recommendations fixed by health authorities.
For the president of the Spanish Society of Immunology (SEI), Marcos López Hoyos, the international health emergency aims to “inform the population and prevent epidemics from spreading further“.
Regarding vaccines, López Hoyos agrees that 5,000 doses are insufficient and asserts that if Spain leads in the number of global cases, it must have more doses to control these outbreaks.
López Hoyos believes that with this disease prompt measures were taken from the very beginning and the clinical manifestations were described very quickly, but make people aware of the risk in close contacts, massive parties like the one in the Canary Islands or saunas like what happened in Madrid.
“I think having made this global declaration is in the direction of raising awareness and knowing that it is not transmitted through the air like covid-19, do everything to avoid contagion“, of.
Monkeypox has not yet appeared, it has been circulating in West Africa for decades but it is at this time with 75 countries affected that it is urgent to adopt the same monitoring principle.
This is understood by the coordinator of the vaccines group of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE), Angela Domínguez, who sees the global alert declaration as a “correct” decision this will help countries to focus more and use the available resources.
And it is that this expert maintains that “from SARS-CoV-2 we have learned that it is important to respect the same principle of surveillance of casesnotifications and follow-up”.
Don’t forget that not only covid and monkeypox have caused international alerts, but also the outbreaks of Ebola and poliomyelitis.
Rigorous with isolation
As in all epidemics, Domínguez calls for rigor with the isolation of cases until the healing of skin lesions and Avoid contact with immunocompromised people.
He admits that in Spain there are now agreed protocols by surveillance services in different communities on how to stop transmission, but individual responsibility is essential of people.
Monkeypox is transmitted by close contact and skin-to-skin contact is very important, but also by respiratory droplets, so those in self-isolation are recommended to wear a mask.
Domínguez does not see a clear horizon for the end of this pandemic, but he is aware that “everything will depend on whether or not international coordination measures are respected”.