Recent weeks have seen more attention paid to the epidemic resurgence in Covid-19 than to "monkeypox", or monkey pox.
Yet, the World Health Organization (WHO), calls for urgent and coordinated action if it is to make a change in the fight against the spread of the disease.
It is evident that contamination in Europe is on the rise after it has increased slightly over six weeks. More than 6200 cases are reported in 58 countries. Most of them are located in Western Europe.
This is four times greater than mid-June, despite an underestimation in the actual number of cases. There are at least three reasons for this.
First, frequent misdiagnoses. Although symptoms may resemble "historic" smallpox which was eradicated in 1980s, the truth is that they are often not as clear-cut. Some cases can be confused with chickenpox and other conditions like syphilitic channel, herpes simplex, or gonorrhea.
Monkeypox in France is now considered a "notifiable" disease. However, screening and surveillance capabilities are still limited.
Finally, "the diagnostic criteria sometimes exclude homosexuals without a trip history from the beginning", as Claude-Alexandre Gustave, a biologist, laments. He cites a British study in The Lancet.
As an example, March 2020 was the first time "Covid-19", a condition that could only be diagnosed in patients who had returned from China, was it?
It is not sexually transmitted, but there are cases in children and women.
Claude-Alexandre Gustave, biologist
Longer, hotter, drier days, open windows... The spread of respiratory viruses such as Covid-19 is influenced by the summer season.
Monkey pox is a different case. It can be transmitted by direct contact...and indirect. This includes the skin and mucous membranes as well as household linen, dishes, smartphones, and any other shared objects.
Summer brings with it the risk of amplifying, especially when there are outings, festivals and transport.
Claude-Alexandre Gustave, biologist
This could lead to a high incidence of infections in the first few weeks of school. These risks have been minimized by the very responsive American and British health services.
Mild monkeypox It is not very fatal, though. Professor Antoine Flahault told us in May that although we are only talking about 1-10% lethality in Africa, these are the actual figures. It is quite different when the infrastructure for health care allows for high quality care.
Among the European cases, there has not been a single death. Due to its lower transmissibility, it is still not widely distributed.
However, children are at greater risk of dying than adults. This is also true for orthopoviruses, which is the virus that is found in the same family as this virus.
Professor at the University of Medicine of Montreal Dr. Lisa Iannattone reminds us that the effects of infection can be fatal or life-threatening.
Monkeypox can cause severe pain, such as severe shingles-like symptoms, on the skin and eyes.
Although "Monkey pox," may not be a new concept in Europe, it is quite common. However, it is endemic in parts of Africa and well-known. Marc Gozlan's blog "Biomedical Realities", explains that the symptoms of "European contaminations" are different from previous ones. For example, there is less frequent fever and skin lesions.
It is a fact that protection against contamination by contact requires the use of the same gestures: a mask to reduce the risk of transmission via air, as well as hydroalcoholic gel and barrier gestures.
Marc Gozlan reminds us that there is a risk in the hospital and that it must be considered.