The Azores has not yet identified suspected cases of monkeypox virus, but the provincial health directorate today acknowledged the possibility of its discovery and issued a standard circular with the approach to be adopted.
“So far, as far as we know, there are still no suspected cases in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, and no confirmed cases,” said Regional Director of Health Berto Cabral, in remarks made by Lusa, Regional Director of Health, Puerto Cabral.
Since the beginning of May, the doctor of the National Institute of Health Ricardo Jorge (INSA) has discovered 209 human cases of monkeypox in Portugal.
Most infections have been reported in Lisbon and the Valle do Tejo, but there are also cases in the North and Algarve regions.
According to the regional director of health in the Azores, although the virus is not as transmissible as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, it is “normal” that monkeypox cases are detected in the region.
“We have to look at this issue with concern, since cases have already arrived in Portugal, which is increasing in Portugal, and of course, with the movement of people, even more so now in the summer and holiday period, it is normal and indicated that a positive case can reach to the area.
Berto Cabral said that the standard circular issued, which targets health services and civil protection in the Azores, is “largely in line with the national standard” of the Directorate General of Health (DGS) and “will regulate the way in which health care is provided. In the region they should be centralized and how they deal with suspected or confirmed cases.
“It sets out the case definition, how the suspected and probable case should be assessed, the approach to be taken, in the face of a confirmed case, the referral and clinical approach for these suspected and probable cases, and the method for reporting cases to the laboratory diagnosis itself,” he added.
The Regional Director of Health considered that “a case of the magnitude” of COVID-19 is not expected.
“This situation is completely different, not least because transmission does not happen in the same way. And spread is not expected at the level of what happened with Covid-19, not least because it will not be a disease of the respiratory system. Appearance, it has a more complex side. Visible at a level The leather and so the approach is completely different, the transmission is completely different.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), since the beginning of May, 1,000 more cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in 29 non-endemic countries.
The most common symptoms are fever, severe headache, muscle aches, back pain, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes with a progressive rash affecting the skin and mucous membranes.
According to the DGS, skin lesions usually begin one to three days after the onset of fever and may be flat or slightly raised, with a clear or yellowish fluid, and eventually ulcerate and form crusts that later dry and fall off.
The infection can be passed from person to person through close physical contact, including sexual contact.
Contact with contaminated personal clothing, bedding, towels, or objects such as cutlery, dishes, or other personal utensils can also transmit infection.
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