First case of monkeypox (monkeypox) confirmed in Mexico

Mexican health authorities confirmed the first case of monkeypox or simian pox (monkeypox). This is a 50-year-old man who lives in New York, and who was diagnosed, and is being treated, in Mexico City.

The undersecretary of Health, Hugo Lopez Gatell, said that the man would have been infected during a trip to the Netherlands.

By the end of May, 257 cases have already been registered in 23 countries, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO reports that there are also between 117 and 127 cases awaiting laboratory confirmation.

In the region, in addition to Mexico, the United States confirmed 10 cases, Argentina one case, Canada 26, and French Guiana two.

The first human case of monkey pox it was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). ) during a period of intensified efforts to eliminate smallpox.

Since then, cases of monkeypox have been reported in people from several other West and Central African countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone.

Most infections continue to occur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In this country, the cases of this outbreak already total 1,284.

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Cases of monkeypox have occurred in people outside of Africa linked to international travel or imported animals, including cases in the United States, as well as in Israel, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

The natural reservoir for monkeypox is unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (such as monkeys) can carry the virus and infect people through direct contact with the carrier animal or by eating meat from these animals that has not been cooked properly.

It is a rare infection caused by a virus of the smallpox family. There have been other outbreaks of monkeypox, but never have cases spread so widely.

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of the flu:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Swollen glands

However, there is a big difference: the person infected with the virus that causes monkeypox develops blisters on the hands, arms and legs, and even on other parts of the body such as the back. Similar to what happened with smallpox (eradicated from the world in the 1980s thanks to vaccination), these pustules are first small and then enlarge and fill with pus. They can itch, and take weeks to go away. Once they go away, the person is no longer contagious

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Although monkeypox is usually a mild illness, complications can include pneumonia, vision loss, and sepsis, or a generalized infection that can be life-threatening.

In general, a person becomes infected by contact with carrier animals such as apes or certain species of mice, through bites, injuries or eating the meat of these animals without cooking them well.

However, in this new outbreak there have been cases of infections linked to men who have sex with men, which, emphasizes the WHO, does not make it a sexually transmitted disease. This is an unusual way to get the virus. In fact, this outbreak seems to be associated with increased person-to-person transmission, a form that, again, is not the usual one.

Smallpox vaccination can protect against monkeypox, and can be used in high-risk contacts as preventive treatment after exposure. There are also at least three antiviral drugs used against this virus that are currently available in the United States.

As always, it is necessary to consult immediately with the doctor, who will make the diagnosis. And, as with most viruses, rest, staying hydrated and avoiding stress help the body do its job and expel the virus.

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