Monkeypox cases in the UK have prompted authorities to offer the common smallpox vaccine to healthcare professionals and others who may have been exposed. At the same time, more cases of the disease were confirmed in different parts of Europe.
Monkeypox is a viral disease, usually mild, characterized by symptoms such as fever and rash.
There are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe, with up to 10% mortality, and the West African strain, which has a mortality rate of around 1%.
First identified in monkeys, the disease usually spreads by close contact and occurs mainly in West and Central Africa. It has rarely spread to other places, so this new wave of cases outside the mainland is a cause for concern.
In the UK, nine cases of the West African strain have been reported so far.
There is no specific vaccine for monkeypox. but a smallpox vaccine offers some protection, said a spokesperson for the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA).
The data show that the vaccines used to eradicate smallpox are up to 85% effective against monkeypox according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The first European case was confirmed on May 7 in an individual who returned to England from Nigeria, where monkeypox is endemic.
Since then, Portugal has reported 14 cases and Spain has confirmed seven cases. The United States and Sweden also reported one case each. Italian authorities have confirmed one case and are analyzing two other suspects.
Source: CNN Brasil