All of the cases have been confirmed in Spain’s capital, Madrid
Cases of monkeypox in Spain have risen to 30 – the highest in Europe – after a further 23 viral infections were reported by the Ministry of Health today (Friday May 20).
All of those infected live in Madrid, and the latest cases were detected after 23 samples tested positive for non-human smallpox through PCR tests. They will be sequenced to determine 100% the variant, but the health ministry is confident they will prove to be monkeypox “as there is no circulation of any other type of this disease in Spain”
Health authorities have issued a nationwide alert to “guarantee a swift, coordinated and timely response”.
But for the moment, Spain’s cases have been contained in Madrid. In a statement, its regional health department said that “generally speaking, monkeypox is spread by respiratory transmission, but the characteristics of the 23 suspected recent cases point towards transmission through mucus during sexual relations.”
“The infected people are doing well and are isolating at home, but a close eye is being kept on them in case they need hospital treatment.”
Meanwhile, the head of Spain’s health emergencies centre, epidemiologist Fernando Simón said that although it isn’t a given that monkeypox will spread notably, it can’t be ruled out.
Spain currently has the most reported monkeypox cases, followed by the UK, with nine, and Portugal, with 15. Belgium has reported two cases and the United States, Sweden, Italy and Australia have each confirmed one.
Urging caution but appealing for “calm”, Spain’s health minister, Carolina Darias said the department plans to buy thousands of vaccines against the traditional smallpox that also “fight the monkey virus”.
“The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products is currently evaluating and analysing different therapeutic options depending on their viability and effectiveness, such as antivirals and vaccines,” she explained.
In addition to vaccines, the health department is looking into purchasing drugs to treat patients already suffering from the disease.
“We are assessing the viability and effectiveness of vaccines, as well as their availability,” said Darias.
In humans, the symptoms of monkeypox – a rare zoonatic viral disease – are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. The symptoms can last between two and four weeks, and whilst the virus has proved fatal in Africa, the risk is reportedly much, much lower in countries where nutrition and access to medical care are better.
Source: Murcia Today