September 29, 2022

First case of monkeypox confirmed in Venezuela

Pox virus, illustration. Pox viruses are oval shaped and have double-strand DNA. There are many types of Pox virus including Chickenpox, Monkeypox and Smallpox. Smallpox was eradicated in the 1970's. Infection occurs because of contact with contaminated animals or people and results in a rash or small bumps on the skin.

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Venezuelan health authorities have identified the first case of monkeypox infection. The carrier arrived from Spain. This was announced on Sunday, June 12, by the Ministry of Health of the Republic.

“The patient, who entered the country from Madrid, was in contact with two infected people in Barcelona. He was immediately isolated, and appropriate tests were carried out, which showed a positive result. [The patient’s] condition is stable,” the agency said on Twitter.

Earlier, on June 9, the head of the Laboratory for Especially Dangerous Infections at the Center for Fundamental Translational Medicine, Professor of Virology Alexander Chepurnov, said that one of the reasons that caused the outbreak of monkeypox could be changes in the pathogen artificially, which led to a greater contagiousness of the virus.

Also, the deterioration of the immune status of a person over the past few decades could lead to an outbreak of the disease.

At the same time, on May 26, the director of the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, Alexander Gintsburg, said that rodents, not primates, could be carriers of monkeypox. In his opinion, “the monkeys themselves suffered”, having become infected from rodents, “which are the main reservoir and carrier of this virus.”

Meanwhile, the head of the WHO European Office, Hans Kluge, said on May 31 that there was no 100% confidence in the ability to contain the spread of monkeypox.

No cases of the disease have been identified in Russia. Rospotrebnadzor assessed the likelihood of the spread of the disease in the Russian Federation as low. The department advised Russians to avoid contact with rodents and primates, which are potential carriers of monkeypox.

Monkeypox virus began to spread in several countries of Western Europe and on other continents. Cases of infection were recorded, in particular, in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Canada, Italy, Portugal, France, USA, Sweden, Switzerland and Morocco.

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