But don’t panic, according to the new Minister of Health, Brigitte Bourguignon, France has enough stocks to vaccinate caregivers and contact cases.
The sudden appearance of monkeypox in several countries, including seven cases identified in France, has alerted health authorities. The French National Authority for Health (HAS) issued a statement on May 24, 2022, recommending the implementation of a reactive vaccination strategy, i.e., around confirmed cases: “adults whose contact with an infected person is considered at risk, including health professionals exposed without personal protective measures. This vaccination should be performed only with the third generation vaccine.”
It is not smallpox
Monkeypox, the monkey pox, is a disease that has nothing to do with smallpox and does not come from monkeys, warns the scientific magazine Sciences et Avenir. “Indeed, if Monkeypox owes its name to the fact that it was isolated for the first time in captive primates (in 1958 in Denmark), its reservoir would actually be a rodent or a squirrel. The first human case of Monkeypox infection, a 9-month-old child, was detected in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as part of a reinforced smallpox eradication campaign,” explains Camille Besombes, an infectious disease physician, in The Conversation.
Monkeypox is a DNA virus, and therefore stable (unlike RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2), which has the particularity of affecting skin tissue. The main symptoms appear in the form of particularly painful skin rashes. The disease lasts between two and three weeks and then disappears spontaneously in most cases. However, superinfections can occur, causing eye damage or even inflammation of the brain. It should be noted that young children are the main victims of monkeypox.
Since the beginning of May 2022, several cases of Monkeypox have appeared in Europe. First in the United Kingdom, then in Spain, Portugal, France, Sweden … Between 80 and 100 cases have been detected for now. This is enough to worry the health authorities.
“We are not expecting an outbreak of the disease,” said the new Minister of Health Brigitte Bourguignon, “we are taking the necessary precautions, so vigilance in this case, and because it is a virus that we no longer saw in Europe.”
The minister insisted that France had “stocks” of the vaccine. “The stocks are there, we have strategic stocks and it will be targeted vaccination, we are not talking about total vaccination” reassured the minister on RTL. Priority will be given to caregivers and contact cases.
«Il y a un phénomène nouveau, c’est l’émergence de plein de foyers de ce virus dans plein de pays du nord de l’Europe ou des Etats-Unis, c’est bizarre, on ne comprend pas» affirme Martin Blachier au sujet de la variole du singe dans #LaMatinale pic.twitter.com/S3cQkIdkn8
— CNEWS (@CNEWS) May 26, 2022