Linou: It is unlikely that the smallpox of monkeys will not appear in Greece as well


Information, vigilance and attention are the “keys” to dealing with the unknown to most smallpox of monkeyswhich appeared in early March in countries beyond Africa, where the disease is endemic, causing concern and putting health systems on alert.

«Do not worry but let the people be careful“, Emphasizes with emphasis on APE-MPE the professor of Epidemiology at the Medical School of EKPA, Athena Linou, considering” it is unlikely that a case will occur in Greece “. That’s why it emphasizes transmission modes, symptoms and protection measures, emphasizing that contact tracking, rapid detection of new cases and isolation are the factors that will break the transmission chain.

A total of 19 countries outside Africa have confirmed at least one case. The total number of cases detected by the ECDC has almost increased fivefold since its first count on May 20, from 38 to 219 cases, with 191 being detected in Europe.

“Her appearance in Europe is not ordinary, we have no interpretation why it happened, there are speculations and therefore it is reasonable to worry until we know how it happened“, Says Mrs. Linou.

Considers “It is unlikely that we will have any cases in Greece, unless we can eliminate the disease in the coming days, but it is now in 19 countries. How will these countries be able to find the contacts of the 200 cases they have?He wonders.

Regarding transmissibility, he emphasizes that he has not yet “we know the most contagious of this form that is circulating in Europe today. We see that every 2 to 3 days the cases double, so we must take immediate measures“, He underlines. He estimates that “there are more cases “, as he states” monkey pox, like human pox, takes about two weeks to have visible symptoms. So those who are stuck today will see these incidents in the next two weeks».

Ways of transmission

The main modes of transmission are through the respiratory tract (cough, sneezing, prolonged face-to-face contact), through contact with infected people, their clothes, their sheets or their body fluids. The virus enters the body through skin lesions (visible or invisible) of the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth).

«There will be a problem if we come face to face with someone who coughs intensely, as the droplets can come to our face. If we sit somewhere or touch where before someone was sitting with pimples open on his body, which are very contagious“, Says Mrs. Linou. We do not use the same towel, we do not wear other people’s clothes, we do not lie on a bed that we are not 100% sure that the sheets have changed and we do not sit in places with bare feet and hands.

Particular attention should be paid to surfaces that we touch frequently (eg knobs) and toilets.

In Greece, says Ms. Linou, we have no cases, therefore, we consider that no surface is infected. But if a case is detected then we must be very careful.

The basic rule is to wear a mask when we are very close to someone, to wash your hands with soap and water regularly or to use an alcoholic antiseptic. “Masks and antiseptics help, but if we have exposed parts of the body, due to summer we must be careful that the virus is also transmitted through the skin,” the professor emphasizes.

What are the symptoms?

«Transmission does not occur during incubation, but when the first pimples appear, which sometimes appear first in the mouth and face. Then we have transmission“, Notes Mrs. Linou. In fact, as he mentions, the marks on his face never leave. Any rash should mobilize the patient. Also in the symptoms is recorded the very high fever and swollen lymph nodes and this differentiates the smallpox of monkeys from the chickenpox. Ms. Linou emphasizes that it is not a simple disease, it has a mortality of 1 to 10%, depending on the conditions.

Case isolation and selective vaccination

If there are incidents, they should be isolated immediately in special areas and all people who came in contact should be vaccinated, because the vaccine works even after two to three days, says Ms. Linou.

He adds that people who have not been clearly vaccinated are at greater risk. «Even if someone was vaccinated 50 years ago, they have some form of immunity“However, it makes it clear that the general population does not need to be vaccinated. There is currently no specific vaccine against the smallpox virus in monkeys, however, the smallpox vaccine is expected to provide protection. We must be vigilant and prepared, the professor notes, as “people do not know how to protect themselves from this disease and no modern doctor has seen an incident with smallpox».

It offers fast-paced seminars to all physicians who will be called upon to deal with such incidents, recording negative pressure units so that we know where to safely treat patients, and supplying small quantities of vaccines to groups in need of immediate vaccination. Vaccination can be given after exposure to people who have had close contact with the case and medical staff. The vaccine should be given within 4 days of exposure.

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