The European Commission on Monday (25) approved the use of the Imvanex vaccine, from the Danish North Bavarian variety, against monkeypox. The green light from Brussels comes two days after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the highest alert over the disease.
last Friday (22), The European Medicines Agency has already given its approval to extend the use of the vaccine which has been used since 2013 against traditional smallpox. And the Danish pharmaceutical company celebrated in a statement the decision.
“This approval [do produto] Against monkeypox is an example of good cooperation between the Nordic and European Bavarian regulators. The note stated that the extension of use usually lasts between six to nine months. Not part of the block.
Almost 17,000 cases of the disease have already been recorded worldwide, mainly in Europe. Most infections involve men who have had sex with other men.
Four points about monkeypox
understand why The World Health Organization has issued the warning signalIn four questions:
1- Who decides the alert level?
The Director of the World Health Organization is responsible for determining whether an incident constitutes an international public health emergency. He makes the decision based on the information he receives and the criteria and procedures set forth in the International Health Regulations. He must also seek the opinion of the so-called “emergency committee”, made up of experts selected on the basis of skills and experience.
It was the organization’s head, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who decided to set the highest alert level for monkeypox, despite the commission’s expert oath on the issue. Nine of them spoke out against the decision in front of six others who defended the measure.
2 – What does an international public health emergency mean?
According to the International Health Regulations, the maximum alert corresponds to “an unusual incident that poses a public health risk in other countries due to the chances of disease spreading internationally and requires coordinated international action”.
This was the seventh time that the World Health Organization had issued a red alert since its inception in 1948. In practice, the classification is used in “dangerous, sudden, unusual or unexpected” situations.
3 – What is the status of monkeypox in the world today?
Since early May, the virus has infected nearly 17,000 people in 74 countries, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Europe is the most affected continent: 3,125 cases have already been reported in Spain, followed by the United Kingdom (2208) and France (1567).
On Monday, Japan announced its first case of monkeypox. This is a male patient who recently returned to the country from abroad. Without giving further details, Japanese authorities indicated that the patient was in hospital.
Usually, monkeypox is only endemic to the African continent. Since 1970, cases have been concentrated in eleven countries in Africa.
According to the World Health Organization, “Anyone who has been in physical contact with a person showing symptoms of the disease, or with an infected animal, is at risk of contamination.” However, according to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “the increase in cases is concentrated among men who have had sex with other men, especially among those who have multiple partners.” According to him, this is a sign that “the spread of the disease can be stopped with good strategies targeting this group.”
The director of the World Health Organization also filed an appeal against prejudice towards patients. He stressed that “stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus.”
4 – What measures have been taken to combat the disease?
After the alert is issued, the execution of actions begins. “A coordinated international response is essential to ending the spread of monkeypox,” Raj Punjabi, coordinator of the White House Office of Epidemic Control, said in a statement. For him, “it is necessary to protect the vulnerable groups so that they do not fall ill, and to fight the epidemic.”
The authorities are betting on vaccination, after the green light from the European authorities. In the United States, the immunizing agent Imvanex, marketed under the name Jynneos, has been allowed for use against the virus since 2019. The country has already begun vaccinating. This is, in fact, the only drug approved against the disease in the world.
As a precaution, the World Health Organization also recommends that anyone who has been in physical contact with someone infected with the virus that causes monkeypox should encourage patients to self-isolate. Another measure that makes it more difficult for the pathogen to spread is to cover the skin lesions that it causes.
The World Health Organization advises “to wash clothes, towels, sheets and kitchen utensils used by the patient with hot water and detergents, and to dispose of all contaminated waste (such as bandages, for example) in an appropriate manner.”
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