“Priority is to prevent spread,” says National Academy of Medicine on monkeypox

The National Academy of Medicine of Venezuela ruled on the first case of monkeypox detected in the country on June 12 and assured that it is essential to prevent the spread of the disease in the national territory.

“The priority now is to cut the chain of transmission of the virus as soon as possible, which will be much easier than with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement published on June 13.

The academy recalled that the virus can be transmitted through close contact with an infected person, “by respiratory droplets or by secretions from skin lesions.” He also added that the confirmatory diagnosis is based on PCR laboratory tests, which are already available in Venezuela.

On Sunday, June 12, the first person carrying monkeypox on Venezuelan soil was registered at the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía, in the state of Vargas. Several specialists have reported that the problem should not cause alarm in the population.

Will it spread like COVID-19?

The president of the Venezuelan Society of Infectious Diseases, Manuel Figuera, explained to Cocuyo effect this June 14 that monkeypox will not spread in the same way as COVID-19 in March 2020.

“There is something called the Basic Reproducibility Ratio which is how contagious a problem can be or not. With COVID-19, today with omicron, that number is 10. That means that for every infected person, 10 can be infected. While with monkeypox it is 0.8: that means that each infected person can infect less than a person,” said the infectologist.

He affirmed that as long as people are responsible and the authorities remain vigilant of imported cases, the disease can be controlled.

“We have more than 1,200 cases in more than a month, but in 30 countries, which turns out to be little. And it speaks in favor of how little contagious this problem is and the need for close contact for contagion to occur, which makes the possibilities of extension, like other infectious problems, much more limited, ”said Figuera.

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What should the population do?

“There is nothing that the general population in Venezuela should do. Perhaps the educational call to people who have been in countries such as Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom and who, eventually, have had multiple sexual relationships or close contact with a potentially positive person, have to be aware of the symptoms, “said Figuera.

He indicated that it is necessary for people to have responsible sexual relationships and to avoid close contact with people who may have engaged in risky behavior outside of Venezuela.

«The lesions have appeared at the genital, perianal and mouth level. Which speaks that the contagion has definitely been due to close contact in the context of sexual relations. It is not spread sexually, but that close contact led to contagion,” she pointed out.