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Two cases of monkeypox confirmed in Argentina

Saturday, May 28th 2022 - 10:12 UTC
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Both patients have arrived from Spain but are not connected Both patients have arrived from Spain but are not connected

Argentine health authorities Friday confirmed the first two cases of monkeypox in the country. Both men had been in Spain recently but are not connected.

One of the patients, who had been reported as a suspected infection last Sunday, “is in good condition, undergoing symptomatic treatment,” according to a Health Ministry statement. He has been isolated since he showed up at a Buenos Aires clinic for treatment.

“His close contacts are under clinical and epidemiological control without presenting symptoms to date,” the document went on. The patient had been in Spain between April 28 and May 16.

Read also: First case of monkeypox detected in Argentina?

The Health Ministry confirmed that “the result of the PCR amplification reaction” of the case “is positive” and stated that “the genomic sequencing under the Sanger method” showed “a very high percentage of homology with Monkeypox sequences of the West African clade.”

A clade is a group of living beings formed by species that share a specific genetic trait inherited from a common ancestor, from which they evolved.

Regarding the second confirmed case, the authorities explained it was a Spanish resident visiting the province of Buenos Aires and who “has no link with the first case.” The traveler arrived in Argentina last Wednesday, May 25, and started showing symptoms the following day.

“The Ministry of Health of the Nation informs that the result of the PCR amplification reaction of the sample taken from the second high probability case is positive, which confirms infection with poxviruses belonging to the African Eurasian group of the genus orthopox,” according to the communiqué.

The patient has ulcerative lesions with no other associated symptoms. He “is in good general condition, isolated, and receiving symptomatic treatment,” it was reported.

“His close contacts are under strict clinical and epidemiological follow-up, and all are asymptomatic to date,” the statement went on.

Outside the 11 African countries where the disease is endemic, countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Canada, and the United States, among others, have confirmed cases of the disease.

“About the outbreaks that are occurring in the world, what mathematical epidemiology says is that they are compatible with a state of reduced immunity of the population because vaccination against human smallpox was stopped in the 80's and, since that vaccine, although it was for another disease, offers protection against monkeypox. It has not been applied for 40 years, and the people who are protected are less and less, that is to say that the herd immunity is broken and the population is susceptible to face a contagion of that disease,” National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) scientist Paula Bergero told Hoy.

The current outbreak “would be an effect produced by a superpropagation event,” she added.

“In previous outbreaks of this disease, it has been seen that it complies with a 20-60 rule. That is, not all people spread the same; some spread much more than others and, therefore, what has been seen for monkeypox is that 20% of the people who have the disease are the ones who generate 60% of the infections,” she added. In other words, “20% of the people infect more than half of the cases seen in the following generation.”

Bergero also explained that “it is not a sexually transmitted disease, but it is a disease transmitted by close contact” with an infected person. Unlike COVID-19, “it is not a condition that is here to stay,” she went on.


Categories: Health & Science, Argentina.
Tags: Monkeypox, Spain.

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