the outbreak of monkey pox which is expanding in 74 countries, with 16,836 cases, is an “extraordinary” situation that qualifies as an international emergency, said this Saturday Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Tedros called on the world to “act together in solidarity” regarding the distribution of monkeypox treatments, tests and vaccines.
The agency of UN it has previously said it is working to create a dose-sharing mechanism for the worst-affected countries, but offered few details on how that might work.
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Unlike the many companies that made vaccines against Covid-19there is only one manufacturer of the vaccine used against monkeypox, Bavarian Nordic of Denmark.
The vaccine is marketed under the name of Jynneos in the North American country and Imvanex in Europe. This two-dose vaccine is given 28 days apart and produces full effect two weeks after the second dose.
On Friday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it had approved the use of a human smallpox vaccine for use against monkeypox.
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The Imvanex vaccine, from the Danish company Bavarian Nordic, has been approved in the European Union (EU) since 2013 for the prevention of smallpox.
The WHO recommends vaccinating people at higher risk and health workers who may be exposed to the disease.
“You would still have to take all the preventive measures for a few weeks after the vaccination,” said Dr. Sharone Green, an infectious disease expert at the University of Massachusetts Chan School of Medicine in Worcester, The New York Times reported.
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According to the outlet, “the vaccine may work even if it is given after someone has been exposed, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get vaccinated within four days of the date of exposure to have the best chance of preventing monkeypox.
Some researchers have suggested that even a single dose of Jynneos may help slow the spread of monkeypox.
Chicago health officials have decided to prioritize the first doses of the monkeypox vaccine and delay the scheduling of second shots, in order to give as many people as possible their first dose of protection against the spread of the virus. Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady mentioned.
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The city’s strategy follows other cities, such as San Francisco and New York City, that have chosen to use their limited supply of vaccines to inject as many people as possible with the first doses to offer the broadest measure of protection. Chicago Tribune reported.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, said last week that the demand for vaccines is outpacing the available supply. Many people struggle to get vaccinated amid long lines outside clinics.
According to the CDC, you also have the option of the ACAM2000 dose, of which “there is ample supply,” but “it should not be used in people who have certain health conditions, including a weakened immune system, skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis/eczema or pregnancy.
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According to the Times, there is no home test for monkeypox. And even in a clinic, health care workers need a lesion to take a sample to test for monkeypox, said Dr. William Morice, chairman of Mayo Clinic’s department of laboratory medicine and pathology and chairman of from Mayo Clinic Laboratories.
If you don’t have any symptoms, or only have a fever and flu-like symptoms, there’s still no way to test for monkeypox, Dr. Morice said, the Times reported.
The US has the capacity to conduct 80,000 monkeypox tests a week after adding several commercial labs this month, according to the CDC.
Bernard Camins, medical director of infection prevention at Mount Sinai Health System, told the outlet that after receiving a diagnosis, treatment for monkeypox is primarily about managing symptoms.
Regardless of whether they can receive antiviral treatment, patients should self-isolate at home as soon as they develop symptoms of monkeypox.
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As with Covid-19, they should avoid close contact with friends, family, and pets, cover all rashes as much as possible, and wear good-quality masks if they must come into contact with others to receive medical care.
The CDC recommends limiting your exposure to others and remaining isolated until injuries are fully healed. It is out of danger only after the lesions scab over, the scabs fall off, and a new layer of intact skin forms. And that can take a long time, two to four weeks.
The centers noted that “no data are yet available on the efficacy of these vaccines in the current outbreak.”
If I have been vaccinated against smallpox, am I protected?
The CDC also noted that “prior smallpox vaccination provides protection, but not necessarily lifelong. During the 2003 monkeypox outbreak and during the current outbreak, several people infected with monkeypox had been vaccinated against smallpox decades earlier.
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It stated that “in response to an outbreak, vaccinations and other medical measures would also be administered to eligible individuals who were previously vaccinated against smallpox.”
Expect global effort
Dr. Placide Mbala, a virologist who heads the global health department at Congo’s National Biomedical Research Institute, said he hoped any global effort to stop monkeypox would be equitable. Although countries including Britain, Canada, Germany and the US have ordered millions of doses of monkeypox vaccine, none have been shipped to Africa.
The Joe Biden administration has distributed more than 300,000 doses of Jynneos to states and cities since May and another 786,000 doses are being delivered to the US.
The Department of Health and Human Services has ordered another 5 million doses through 2023. CNBC recalled that “there is still no data on the effectiveness of monkeypox vaccines in the current outbreak, according to the CDC.”
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“Unlike Covid, smallpox and monkeypox vaccines can be administered after exposure due to the long incubation period of the viruses. But vaccines must be given within four days of exposure to have the best chance of preventing the onset of the disease, according to the CDC.” US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has the authority to declare a public health emergency under the Public Health Services Act. A declaration can help mobilize federal financial assistance to respond to a disease outbreak.
CDC official Jennifer McQuiston told reporters Friday that the health agency is working to make it easier for doctors to prescribe tecovirimat to patients. Prescribing tecovirimat for monkeypox carries an extra layer of bureaucracy right now because it’s only FDA-approved for smallpox. Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, but causes milder disease.
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