The cases of monkeypox They continue to grow throughout the world, and more specifically Spain with 3,151 confirmed cases (according to daily WHO statistics) is the most affected country.
This is an unprecedented situation: although the figures seem microscopic compared to those that the coronavirus pandemic has accustomed us to seeing, we must not lose sight of the fact that this is a disease much less contagious and, at least in theory, easier to control epidemiologically.
Tips to Avoid Infections
It is therefore important to take some basic precautions to avoid contracting it, because although it is rarely fatal (in the current epidemic only three deaths have been recorded so far), it can produce symptoms of some severity.
To this end, it is important understand what the symptoms are and how contagion occurs. Monkeypox causes symptoms characterized by fever, headache, muscle aches, characteristic skin lesions, and swollen glands; Contagion can occur from the moment these lesions appear until they heal, and it occurs through contact with the rashes and the scabs covering them or with body fluids.
Therefore, it is considered that there is a risk of contagion before any physical contact with a symptomatic person, their liquids or objects used by them (such as kitchen utensils, clothing, etc.), especially if this contact has been close and prolonged (sexual contact being the most extreme case).
Thus, the WHO recommends that risk groups (i.e. currently men who have sex with men) to pay attention to their sexual practices, to be aware of any symptoms and to communicate with their sexual partners to inform each other of any symptoms that occur.
Equally important is self-isolate if symptoms develop while the condition lasts, avoid contact with people who live with you as much as possible to avoid transmitting the disease to them (they should also avoid contact with clothing or objects used by the patient) and inform the system of health of symptoms so that they can do a proper follow-up.
Two measures to which the covid-19 pandemic has accustomed us are also recommended: correct and frequent hand hygienealso opting for the use of disinfectant gels, and the use of a mask in the presence of people with symptoms.
Who can get vaccinated?
The other major protective measure against monkeypox is the monkeypox vaccine. However, access may not be easy: although several states are already launching vaccination campaigns, often the number of doses available is limited and the strategy aims to specific demographics.
For example, in several Autonomous Communities in Spain, it has been decided to offer vaccination to people at risk (for example, defined as “those aged 18 to 45 who maintain risky sexual practicesand who “have not been previously vaccinated against smallpox, have not had monkeypox, have not been in contact with a confirmed case of monkeypox in the previous ten days, do not have suggestive of monkeypox and have no contraindications to vaccines in general” in Madrid).