Smallpox of monkeys: the cases in Italy and beyond

Currently 8 countries have registered cases of smallpox. WHO reports that these are Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Recent cases have been reported in Australia, Canada and the United States. 

Recent cases of monkeypox in Europe are “atypical for several reasons,” said Hans Kluge, WHO director for Europe.

“In the first place – he explains – because all but one of these cases have no relationship with travel to areas where monkeypox is endemic, that is, in West and Central Africa. Second, because many of the initial cases were identified through the services of sexual health and concern men who have sex with men. And thirdly, due to the geographically dispersed nature of the cases in Europe and beyond, this suggests that transmission may have been going on for some time.”

Meanwhile, in Italy, the number of cases has risen to five and are all under the responsibility of the Spallanzani Institute of Infectious Diseases in Rome. The infected people “are treated with symptomatic therapy in a sufficient state”, Spallanzani communicates, explaining that “at the Institute, however, antiviral drugs are available that could be used on an experimental basis if specific therapy is required”.

The director of Spallanzani, Francesco Vaia, reassures us by saying that the situation must be kept under control, but it does not arouse alarm. He adds that this is not a new disease, it is a minor smallpox that has milder symptoms than traditional smallpox. The good news is that they got it on time. Speaking of the symptoms, the director of Spallanzani also adds that we must be careful of the skin, if there is any stain, and obviously if we find fever and exhaustion.

From his words we can be calm and confident about the future. The pandemic has taught us that we must always be cautious and never underestimate things. In the hands of science we can only rest assured, with the hope that what we have gone through will no longer happen. Informing us about what is happening in recent days is interesting but above all fundamental, to keep us up to date with the real news.

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Rachele Maria Bosco