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Fifth case of monkeypox reported in Rio de Janeiro

Thursday, June 30th 2022 - 20:12 UTC
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Rio's new patient was a man from London Rio's new patient was a man from London

Rio de Janeiro state officials Wednesday confirmed the fifth local case of monkeypox, while four others are still under investigation, it was reported.

According to a statement from the State Health Secretariat, three of the confirmed patients reside in the city of Rio and one in Maricá (in the Great Rio). The fifth case is a resident of London who was traveling to Rio when the disease was confirmed.

Wednesday's case included, there are 21 confirmed patients with monkeypox in Brazil, 14 of them in São Paulo and two in Rio Grande do Sul, besides the ones registered in Rio. According to the federal Ministry of Health, another 23 cases are under investigation in the states of Ceará, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Santa Catarina, Espírito Santo, Acre, Rio Grande do Norte, Minas Gerais, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio, besides the Federal District.

Meanwhile, national health authorities insisted that all vaccines offered by the Single Health System (SUS) were tested, approved, and safe; and that false news lead many people to death. Based on these principles, the campaign to encourage vaccination “Vaccine Plus” was launched Wednesday in Brasilia with the endorsement of the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO and WHO) in partnership with national, state, and municipal health councils.

“We are working to undo false news that lead to death,” said the National Health Council (CNS) Chairman Fernando Pigatto during the launching ceremony of the new campaign, which also has the partnerships of the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass) and Council of Municipal Health Secretaries (Conasems).

According to the CNS, Brazil is one of the “few countries that offer an extensive list of free vaccines to its population”, with a National Immunization Program (PNI) that annually provides about 300 million vaccines against more than 30 diseases in approximately 38 thousand vaccination rooms throughout the country.

The National Health Council reaffirmed that vaccination “is one of the most effective, cost-effective, and life-saving public health interventions. The goal of the campaign is to ”join efforts to make the population of Brazil aware of the importance of increasing vaccination coverage.

According to PAHO's representative in Brazil, Socorro Gross, the campaign draws attention to the need for people to get vaccinated “more than they are doing today.”

“It also shows that this 'More' - used in the campaign - symbolizes the sum of efforts we need to achieve the increase in vaccination coverage to have healthier people,” she added while pointing out that “the campaign also highlights that vaccines are available for free through the great SUS in all Brazilian states and municipalities so that people make use of this right, which also involves responsibilities.”

According to Gross, vaccines are “one of the most effective public health measures,” and it is, therefore, necessary that they remain “a global public good that cannot be taken away from the population because they keep everyone healthy, helping us to eliminate diseases.” “Vaccines save lives, are safe and prevent disease, and protect the most vulnerable communities,” she also explained.

The CNS recalls that thanks to vaccines, smallpox was eradicated from the world in 1980. ”And the Americas region was the first on the planet to eliminate diseases such as polio (in 1994), rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (in 2015), and neonatal tetanus (in 2017),“ she underscored.

However, according to Pigatto, the high vaccination coverage rate has been falling in recent years, leaving millions of people at risk.

According to the Health Ministry, between 2015 and 2021 the number of children vaccinated with the first dose against polio fell from 3,121,912 to 2,089,643.

For the CNS, insufficient immunization also resulted in the return of measles to Brazil. ”The country had been free of autochthonous transmission [which occurs within the national territory] of the virus causing this disease in 2016. However, the combination of imported cases of measles and low vaccination coverage led Brazil to have an outbreak, which, since 2018, has taken the lives of 40 people, mainly children,“ he stressed.

Through the ”Vaccine Plus” campaign, the council intends to motivate the population to expand the use of this type of immunization, taking relevant information about the safety, importance, and effectiveness of all vaccines made available by the Unified Health System (SUS) in the National Vaccination Calendar to different audiences.

In his speech, acting Health Minister Daniel Pereira highlighted that thanks to the joint effort involving the health authorities at the federal, state, and municipal levels, it was possible to distribute more than 500 million doses of vaccines to fight the pandemic.

“Every Brazilian who wanted to be vaccinated had a vaccine available to them wherever they went. The vaccine is what allowed us to reach, today, a much more tranquil scenario than in the past when there was a lack of beds in hospitals in the country,” said Pereira. “But ... the pandemic is [still] here and we have to be alert.”

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

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