For a world tired of fighting the coronavirus, the outbreak of monkey pox is a major issue.
The answer is reassuring. Most children and adults with a healthy immune system are more likely to avoid serious illness, experts say in interviews. But there are two high risk groups.
One includes infants less than six months old. But the current outbreak has not affected them yet! And many older people who are most likely to be exposed to the chickenpox virus are at least partially protected from chickenpox vaccines that have been around for decades, studies show.
Vaccinated seniors can become infected but are likely to escape with only mild symptoms.
“The bottom line is that even those who were vaccinated decades ago have very, very high levels of antibodies – the ability to neutralize the virus,” said Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, director of the National Institute on Aging.
“Even if they were vaccinated 50 years ago, that protection still needs to be there,” he said.
Conventional immunization against chickenpox in the United States was discontinued in 1972. The military continued the vaccination program until 1991 as a means of preventing a bio-terrorist attack.
Questions about the resistance to the smallpox vaccine arose after the 2001 anthrax attack, says Dr. Anthony S. Faucin, Chief Adviser on Infectious Diseases of the Biden Administration. He said it was reasonable to assume that most vaccinated people were still protected, “but the longevity of the protection varies from person to person.”
“We can not guarantee that a person who has been vaccinated against chickenpox will still be protected from monkeypox,” said Dr. Fowin.
Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated in more than 260 confirmed cases, with more than 260 reported in 21 countries. The infection begins with respiratory symptoms but progresses to a clear rash, first in the mouth, then gradually on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and gradually on the rest of the body. The rash eventually rises, turning into pus-filled blisters.
Each abscess contains a live virus, a torn blister can contaminate bed linen, and other items, endangering close contact. Infected people should also be very careful when rubbing their eyes because: The virus can destroy vision.
“Before Jenner developed the blindness vaccine, the number one cause of blindness in the world was chickenpox,” said Mark Slifka, an immunologist at the University of Oregon Health Sciences. Infected people are contagious as long as the abscesses are not dug in, he said.
Dr. Slifka and other experts point out that monkey chickenpox can be severe, even deadly, but the current outbreak is unlikely to turn into a major epidemic.
“We are lucky to have vaccines, therapies. things that can alleviate it all, ”said Anne Remoin, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles who studied monkey chickenpox in Africa. “We have the power to stop this virus.”
Chickenpox lasts up to 12 days for symptoms to occur, giving doctors at least five days after vaccination to prevent the disease. (The approach, called reaction prevention, is not an option for patients with Covid, as the coronavirus can begin to invade the body just days after exposure.)
The monkey virus does not spread in the absence of symptoms. Careful surveillance, isolation of infected people, contact tracing և quarantine of contacts should include outbreaks, said Dr. Rimoin.
Most of those infected are currently men under the age of 50. և Many are gay or bisexual, which may reflect a possible outbreak of a gay pride event in the Canary Islands. (Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during a major event for heterosexuals, experts say.)
No deaths were reported. However, experts are particularly concerned about close contacts with children, adults, or those with weakened immune systems.
There are conflicting opinions about the extent to which the chickenpox vaccine provides immunity.
Disease Control և Prevention Centers recommends stimulants “Flower vaccines every three years, but only for those at risk of being employed,” said David Dagley, a spokesman for the agency.
“Until we know more, we will use the available vaccine supplies for people who have had close contact with known cases, for people who are most at risk of being infected through their work, such as health care workers who treat monkey patients.” He said.
The United States մի a number of European countries have begun to vaccinate infected patients in close contact, an approach called ring vaccination.
Many of the most vulnerable groups may already be protected. In one study, Dr. Slifka և and his colleagues took blood from it 306 vaccinated volunteers, some of whom were vaccinated decades ago, including one who was vaccinated 75 years ago. Many of them maintained high levels of antibodies against chickenpox.
In another study, Dr. Slifka գործընկեր and his colleagues showed this produced antibodies Even a single dose of chickenpox vaccine is slowly reduced in the body, halving after about 92 years.
Dr. Ferruccini նրա His colleagues at the NIH, like other teams, also found that antibody levels to exist for decades after vaccination. Some studies have found that that other branches of the immune system are also slowly weakening, but that they produce antibodies Vaccination against chickenpox may be sufficient to protect yourself from monkey chickenpox.
If chickenpox were to spread, it would make sense to vaccinate anyone who is exposed to a high mortality rate, regardless of previous vaccinations, says Gigi Gronwall, a biosafety expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health and Safety.
“We would not want to take advantage of the fact that someone was left defenseless,” he said.
But it is not necessary now, he added. “This is a monkey.”
What you need to know about Monkeypox virus
What is ape? It’s Monkeypox virus endemic to parts of Central և West Africa. It is similar to chickenpox, but less severe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was discovered in 1958 after outbreaks in monkeys kept for research.
Laboratory evidence of antibodies does not prove that the chickenpox vaccine can protect against monkeys. But to answer that question would require the study participants to intentionally become infected with chickenpox or a related virus, which is clearly an unethical practice.
For the same reason, the new chickenpox vaccines և have only been tested on animals.
However, one way to study the effectiveness of a vaccine in humans is to gather evidence of an outbreak. Dr. Slifka’s team did just that in 2003, when dozens of Americans became infected after coming into contact with stray dogs infected with monkeys.
Researchers flew to Milwaukee and took blood from 28 people who had been exposed to infected stray dogs. Of the eight people previously vaccinated, five had an average of three pus blisters, compared with an average of 33 in those who had not been vaccinated.
The other three vaccinated people had no symptoms in general. “They did not even know they were infected,” said Dr Slifka.
Another study of that outbreak It turned out that in a family of three, the previously vaccinated father had only two monkeys, while the unvaccinated mother had about 200. Their unvaccinated 6-year-old daughter had about 90 injuries և she was in a coma for 12 days.
Questions about the longevity of vaccine protection against monkeys have become increasingly important as the number of cases worldwide has increased. Monkeypox reappeared among Nigerians in 2017, with about 200 confirmed cases and 500 suspected cases since then.
It has the Democratic Republic of the Congo registered 58 deaths շուրջ About 1300 suspicious cases since the beginning of this year.
People in African villages infected monkey pox from animals while hunting, but rarely infected others. “It’s only recently, as it has only been in the last few years, when we started to see it,” Dr. Remoin said of larger outbreaks.
The eradication of chickenpox, although one of the greatest achievements of public health, has made the population vulnerable to the virus և its cousins.
Dr. Remoin և his colleagues, the decrease in immunity combined with the increase in population մամբ intimacy with wildlife, can lead to more frequent outbreaks of monkeys. warned in 2010.
Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during childhood and adolescence, especially in immunocompromised humans.
“If monkey chicken pox were to be found in a wildlife reservoir outside Africa, the public health decline would be huge,” said Dr. Rimoine. “I think this is a legitimate concern.”
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