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Monkeypox cases investigated in Europe, US, Canada and Australia


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Somethin' comin' over.... mmmmm..... :o 

Monkeypox cases investigated in Europe, US, Canada and Australia

Published 2 hours ago | BBC

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Cases of monkeypox are being investigated in several European countries as well as the US, Canada and Australia, according to health authorities and local media reports.

The new cases were reported in Belgium, France, Australia and Germany.

This follows infections confirmed in Italy, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, the US, Canada and the UK - where the first European case was reported.

Monkeypox is most common in remote parts of Central and West Africa.

Instances of the disease outside of the region are often linked to travel to the area.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection which is usually mild and from which most people recover in a few weeks, according to the UK's National Health Service.

The virus does not spread easily between people and the risk to the wider public is said to be very low.

The first case of the disease in the UK was reported on 7 May. The patient had recently travelled to Nigeria, where they are believed to have caught the virus before travelling to England, the UK Health Security Agency said.

There are now 20 confirmed cases in the UK, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Friday.

There is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, but a smallpox jab offers 85% protection since the two viruses are quite similar.

Authorities in the UK said they had bought stocks of the vaccine and started offering it to those with "higher levels of exposure" to monkeypox.

Spanish health authorities have also reportedly purchased thousands of smallpox jabs to deal with the outbreak, according to Spanish newspaper El País.

Australia's first case was detected in a man who fell ill after travelling to the UK, the Victorian Department of Health said.

In North America, health authorities in the US state of Massachusetts confirmed that a man has been infected after recently travelling to Canada. He was in "good condition" and "poses no risk to the public", officials said.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-61506562

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20 hours ago, horn said:

:shock: 

 

 

Are you guys just catching up with this? Pretty much all confirmed cases here either attended the Maspalomas pride party or a Labour Day party at the largest sauna here in Madrid so of course it's being stigmatized as some sort of "gay disease" by the most ignorant areas of the population, some even assuming sex with monkeys must have been involved somehow. So the usual.

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This is so terrible another stigma to deal with. 
 

*cancelling all my pride plans*

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  • 2 months later...

WHO declares global health emergency over monkeypox outbreak
By Natalie Grover, John Revill and Jennifer Rigby | July 24, 2022

  • Declaration is WHO's highest level of alert
  • Tedros breaks deadlock on advisory committee
  • Decision welcomed as way to stem disease's spread

July 23 (Reuters) - The rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak represents a global health emergency, the World Health Organization's highest level of alert, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday.

The WHO label - a "public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)" - is designed to trigger a coordinated international response and could unlock funding to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.

Members of an expert committee that met on Thursday to discuss the potential recommendation were split on the decision, with nine members against and six in favour of the declaration, prompting Tedros himself to break the deadlock, he told reporters.

"Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern, for the moment this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners," Tedros told a media briefing in Geneva.

"Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus," he added.

He said the risk of monkeypox - which spreads via close contact and tends to cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions - was moderate globally, except in the Europe, where the WHO has deemed the risk as high. read more

The White House said the declaration was a "call to action for the world community to stop the spread of this virus." Raj Panjabi, director of the White House pandemic preparedness office, said a "coordinated, international response is essential" to stop the spread of the disease and protect communities at the greatest risk of contracting it.

Previously, Tedros has typically endorsed expert committee recommendations, but two sources told Reuters earlier on Saturday said he had likely decided to back the highest alert level due to concerns about escalating case rates and a short supply of vaccines and treatments.

So far this year, there have been more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox in more than 75 countries, and five deaths in Africa.

The viral disease has been spreading chiefly in men who have sex with men in the recent outbreak, outside Africa where it is endemic.

Health experts welcomed the WHO's decision to issue the PHEIC declaration, which until now had only been applied to the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing efforts to eradicate polio.

"The right result is clear – not declaring an emergency at this point would be a historic missed opportunity," said Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C., calling the decision politically brave.

The decision should help contain the spread of the viral disease, said Josie Golding, head of epidemics and epidemiology at the Wellcome Trust.

"We cannot afford to keep waiting for diseases to escalate before we intervene," she said.

JUNE MEETING
The WHO and national governments have been facing intense pressure from scientists and public health experts to take more action on monkeypox.

Cases of the viral disease have ballooned since the committee first met at the end of June, when there were only about 3,000 cases.

At the time, the expert group agreed to reconsider their position on the emergency declaration if the outbreak escalated.

One of the key issues driving a reassessment was whether cases would spread to other groups, particularly children or others who have been vulnerable to the virus in past outbreaks in endemic countries.

On Friday, the United States identified its first two monkeypox cases in children. read more

WHO officials said on Saturday they were exploring the possibility of the virus spreading via new modes of transmission.

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/monkeypox-outbreak-constitutes-global-health-emergency-who-2022-07-23/

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‘I literally screamed out loud in pain’: my two weeks of monkeypox hell
A New Yorker describes his harrowing ordeal to receive care through a system underequipped to handle another pandemic

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I got monkeypox and it’s been a total nightmare.

When New York Pride festivities kicked off on 24 June, I was aware that monkeypox was an emerging issue – especially for gay men – but I was also under the impression that the number of cases in the city was relatively small. What I didn’t understand was how absolutely dismal testing capacity was: at that point, the city only had capacity to process ten tests a day.

I had sex with several guys over the weekend. Then a week later, on 1 July, I started feeling very fatigued. I had a high fever with chills and muscle aches, and my lymph nodes were so swollen they were protruding two inches out of my throat.

First, I took a Covid self-test: negative. Then I started suspecting monkeypox. I texted a friend: I’m just sitting here waiting for the rash to start.

I’m a 39-year-old man from Sweden, living in Brooklyn and working in philanthropy. For the past decade, my work has primarily focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights, so I followed the outbreak from the very beginning. I had even tried to get vaccinated when New York City launched an initial vaccination drive on 23 June. But like the vast majority of other New Yorkers who tried to get an appointment, I had no luck.

Two days after my symptoms began, the rash started as anorectal lesions – painful sores on my anus and rectum. Initially it was a stinging, itchy feeling. I wasn’t scared at this point. I was told that it would be mild, and I was a completely healthy individual with no underlying conditions. But I had no idea how bad it was going to get.

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Sebastian Kohn, a 39-year-old New Yorker who contracted monkeypox. Photograph: Courtesy of Sebastian Kohn

I had a tele-health visit with my primary-care physician (PCP) and she agreed that I should get tested. So I went to urgent care. I had all the symptoms of monkeypox and thankfully nobody questioned whether or not I should receive a test. I also asked for a full STI panel.

I wanted the antiviral drug that is being used to treat monkeypox, TPOXX, but you need a positive test result first. So they sent me home with Tylenol. (European regulators have approved TPOXX as an effective monkeypox treatment, but the FDA has only approved it to treat smallpox. The CDC maintains a stockpile of TPOXX and allows for its “compassionate use” during monkeypox outbreaks.)

After I went home, the rash started spreading, and I began to feel anxious. I developed lesions literally everywhere; they started out looking like mosquito bites before developing into pimply blisters that would eventually pop, then finally scab before leaving a scar. I had them on my skull, on my face, my arms, my legs, my feet, my hands, my torso, my back, and five just on my right elbow. At the peak, I had over 50 lesions, a fever of 103F and intense pain, prompting a panic attack. Ironically, the only place I didn’t have lesions was my penis.

The next day I got my STI results: positive for gonorrhoea. But no word yet on monkeypox. That’s when I developed hives everywhere on my body from my neck down, as well as a headache, arthritis pain in my fingers and shoulders and a strange pain in my shin bone that got so painful that I couldn’t stand up. At night, I would wake up going crazy with both pain and itching from the lesions and hives, just sitting up in bed and scratching myself. I was isolated, lonely and frustrated with how unfair the situation was. I was clearly very sick, yet had to cobble together a care plan on my own.

My anorectal lesions, which were already very painful, turned into open wounds. It felt like I had three fissures right next to each other, and it was absolutely excruciating. I would literally scream out loud when I went to the bathroom. Even keeping the area clean, like washing myself, was extremely painful. It was a two hour process each time.

Four days after my test – I got a call from urgent care that I had tested positive for monkeypox. But they gave me no information beyond that. So I started calling around to see how I could get access to the antivirals. I knew the CDC had put out guidance around who should be considered for treatment, and that included people who had anorectal lesions, lesions in the throat and dermatological conditions, which I did.

But I was just referred in circles. I would call urgent care, who told me to contact the department of health. The department of health would say, “Oh no, your PCP has to request treatment for you.” Then I would contact my PCP, and they were like, “We can bring the case to the department of health, but just so you know, they deny most of our requests, so don’t get your hopes up.”

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People wait in line to receive the Monkeypox vaccine. Photograph: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Then my throat started swelling up. My tonsils were covered in white pus. I did a video with someone in my PCP’s office and they said, “I think you should go to the ER.” The ER determined it was bacterial tonsillitis, and they gave me a round of antibiotics. But when I asked them for antivirals, they said they wouldn’t give them to me because they only gave it to people who were severely immunocompromised. I told them, “That’s not the CDC treatment guidelines.” They wouldn’t have it, and they discharged me at 2 am. I was incredibly demoralized.

The next evening, I finally got a call from a clinic at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center. They said DoH had asked them to take on my case. So that was apparently how I was one of the lucky few to be invited for treatment. Because the drug hasn’t been extensively tested in humans, there’s quite a significant informed consent and intake process. I spent about an hour at the clinic and walked out with a two week supply of TPOXX. I was so relieved.

You have to take three pills every 12 hours, with a high fat diet. I’m eating a lot of bacon and whipped cream, which is the second best thing about this treatment. The lesions started drying out very quickly and I’m now down to just three tiny little scabs left. Only in the last couple of days have I been able to go to the bathroom without pain.

I’m still in isolation. I can’t tell you how sick of my apartment I am right now. I’m a pretty privileged person in that I have the resources necessary to order food and medicine and get it delivered to my door. I have laundry in my apartment, so I can wash my bedsheets and clothes. I know other people who are really struggling with isolation because they don’t have the situation I have.

The day after I started the treatment, 13 July, I finally got a call from a contact tracer from the department of health, who said I may have been exposed to monkeypox on 26 June. I told her I already have monkeypox, and she asked me about my symptoms. The call lasted about half an hour and she was obviously reading off a script. Then she was like, “Okay, thanks for your time, get well,” and hung up. She didn’t even ask me what contacts I’d had.

This whole thing just feels like a huge failure that should not have been allowed to happen, especially not two and half months into the outbreak. If someone like me, who has worked in sexual health for a long time, had such a hard time navigating care, I can’t imagine other people doing it. I know several people who are just sitting at home in agonizing pain because they’re not getting the support that they need.

I’m pretty worried that we’re close to the point that this is going to be another endemic disease, especially among gay men, if we haven’t passed that point already. I’m worried we’ll be stuck with it forever.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/23/i-literally-screamed-out-loud-in-pain-my-two-weeks-of-monkeypox-hell

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I just watched a video on how it spreads and who is at risk? And I go to the comments and more than half are homophobic remarks/gay jokes one of them going, “to prevent: keep your back door shut” and even going as far as calling it gay pox and relating it to aids as a gay disease. It doesn’t help that the media keeps spinning it as something that only gay men can catch being that most cases are found in gay and bisexual men which, I find almost hard to believe knowing that anyone can get it without having sexual inter-coarse at all. It is mostly transmitted through skin on skin touch from someone who has it which again, can be from anybody!

This is just maddening and it makes me sad that we’re going centuries backwards and letting this type of bullshit continue!

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