As the number of monkeypox cases continues to rise, the European Union’s infectious-disease agency is recommending that member states plan strategies for prospective vaccination programs in order to combat this expanding epidemic.
On Sunday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) announced it will make the suggestion in a risk assessment that would be released on Monday. Smallpox jabs would be used since there is no licensed monkeypox vaccine and it would be necessary to immunize close connections of verified monkeypox patients in a vaccination campaign.
Cross-protection between smallpox and monkeypox has been shown. As a precaution, supplies of vaccination have being kept in the event that smallpox returns.
Smallpox immunization for close monkeypox contacts is now “not a simple option,” according to the Stockholm-based ECDC, which notes that a risk-benefit analysis should be conducted for each afflicted person. Despite being available in the EU, the Imvanex vaccine produced by Danish pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic isn’t approved for use against monkeypox, and the ECDC says there are no safety studies on its usage in immunocompromised individuals or young children, the groups most at risk of contracting the disease.
New cases continue to appear
After exposure to an infected person or an area that has been verified to be infected by the illness, the strategy known as post-exposure prophylaxis is suggested to prevent the spread of the disease to unrelated persons. UK health officials have suggested a similar approach for using the vaccination there as well.
The epidemic is the largest to date outside of endemic regions, and scientists and health officials are working to better comprehend it. As of Saturday, the WHO has received reports of 92 cases that had been verified in the lab from 12 countries where the virus is not often seen. It was announced on Sunday that the new cases had also been verified in Israel, Austria, and Switzerland.
There have been many occurrences of monkeypox in guys who have had intercourse with other men, but not all of them. ECDC experts said big respiratory droplets are the most common mode of human-to-human transmission. It is necessary to maintain extended touch with these droplets since they do not go far. Other body secretions may potentially spread the infection. Health officials are trying to rule out the possibility of transmission by aerosol or the development of the virus into a more readily spread variant.