Monkey pox detected in France: after the Covid, should we fear a new epidemic?

This Thursday, May 19, the French health authorities declared having detected a first suspected case of monkeypox, also called “Monkeypox” in Île-de-France. Several dozen suspected cases have been reported in our European neighbours.

A new worrying disease in Europe: monkeypox. England was the first to sound the alarm. A first monkeypox patient was identified there on May 7 and their number rose to 9 on Wednesday, while confirmed or suspected cases were also identified in Spain, Portugal, the United States, Canada, etc In France, a first suspected case was detected this Thursday evening in Ile-de-France by the health authorities.

What virus causes monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus discovered in 1958 during studies on monkeys in Denmark. Also called “monkeypox”, it belongs to the orthopoxvirus family, like the one that causes “human” smallpox. Up to several hundred cases can be detected in each outbreak, precise The Telegram.

Initial transmission is from animal to human, but the virus can be transmitted from “human to human in the event of “close contact”says Le Parisien.

What are the symptoms ?

Monkeypox can manifest as fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy, muscle aches, back pain, and intense fatigue. But it is also characterized by rashes on the facethe palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet, essentially, being able to extend, but in a less important way, to other parts of the body.

The WHO states that “the incubation period is generally 6 to 16 days but can range from 5 to 21 days”. Nevertheless, the disease “is generally cured spontaneously”. The world health authority wants to be globally reassuring on the cases concerned, affirming that “the fatality rate during outbreaks of simian orthopoxvirus has been between 1% and 10%, most deaths occurring among younger people“. The evolution of the disease would therefore be rather positive.

Towards a next epidemic?

If the number of cases observed since the beginning of May raises fears of the beginning of the spread of monkeypox, the WHO specifies that “Person-to-person transmission alone cannot sustain an outbreak.”.

I do not believe in a strong spread in the general population

With our colleagues from Parisian, Antoine Gessain, virologist at the Pasteur Institute, delays. ANRS epidemiologist Eric D’Ortenzio specifies: “We will quickly need data on these first cases outside Africa to know if we should expect an epidemic outbreak”.

Still, to reduce the “limited” risk of human-to-human transmission, the world health authority recommends “toavoid close physical contact with infected subjects or contaminated materials“.

There would be a vaccine and a treatment authorized in 2019 and 2022, report our colleagues, but they are not yet widely available. The World Health Organization (WHO) has opened an investigation to shed light on this sudden outbreak.

Leave a Comment