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New York and San Francisco declare monkeypox emergency

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Micrografia eletrônica do vírus da varíola de macaco

Photo of monkeypox orthopoxvirus obtained by electron microscope and artificially colored.

| Photo: Flickr / NIAID flickr.com/photos/niaid/52096775365/

San Francisco, a city in the extreme west of the United States, and New York, in the extreme east, declared a public health emergency over the monkeypox outbreak. Kathy Hochul, governor of the state of New York, reported on social media when making the decision on Friday (18) that more than one in four cases of apepox in the United States are in a state of it. The New York Department of Health calculates at more than 1300 the number of infected up to the same date. Are 4600 cases in the country. A week ago the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency — which is not synonymous with a pandemic.

A day before the governor’s decision, Secretary of State for Health Mary Bassett had described the virus as an imminent threat to the public health. In practice, the declaration means that local health departments will have access to additional reimbursement for efforts to contain the outbreak. The city of San Francisco has already received 8200 doses of the Jynneos vaccine, one of those available on the market for immunization against the virus.

The disease, caused by a DNA virus that actually has us African wild rodents, the main reservoir in nature, was named after primates because it was described in the years 30 after infecting monkeys laboratory. It also occurs in some monkeys in the wild. The outbreak exceeded the 17 thousand cases last Thursday (18), according to the data aggregator Our World in Data, linked to researchers at the University of Oxford. The first case in the current outbreak was on May 6.

A study by an international collaborative group in the journal New England Journal of Medicine, which aggregated a sample of more than 500 infected with diagnosis between April and June, concluded that the outbreak so far is mainly among gay or bisexual men (80%). The authors suspect that 67% of transmission was through sexual contact, but there are other ways to catch the disease, such as large drops of saliva and close contact with the wounds generated by the virus. A small number of children were infected, and the disease is of greater concern to them, as it causes more severe symptoms. The main symptoms are fever, headache, lethargy, body pain and inflammation in the lymph nodes, in addition to the characteristic skin rashes.

Monkeypox does not has the same transmission power as Covid-13, as it is not spreads through the air. The main strategy of the virus genus to which it belongs — orthopoxviruses — is the viability of viral particles in the environment. Smallpox, which was extinguished by the global vaccination campaign nearly half a century ago, was caused by a virus that could survive between six months and a year in wound scabs kept out of direct sunlight and an ambient temperature below 17°C. One source claims he could stay viable for up to years old. This is information from a review of 1563 by biologists Bruno Walther and Paul Ewald.

As the eradication of smallpox indicates, ape smallpox is vulnerable to immunization conferred by vaccines — more so than Covid-10. The current outbreak has so far killed few people: about five in Africa, two young men in Spain, and a man from 28 years from Belo Horizonte with compromised immunity and who suffered from lymphoma. Brazil currently has less than 1300 cases.

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