Brazil records first cases of community transmission of monkeypox – News

The Municipal Health Department of Rio de Janeiro confirmed this Thursday (23) two new cases of monkey pox in the city, and none of those infected have a history of travel to countries where the disease is circulating or contact with travelers, which means that Brazil started to have community transmission of the disease.

“As they don’t have contact with anyone who went on a trip, this is important. When the origin of the disease is unknown, it means community transmission. As there are only two cases, it is clear that this contact who went to travel or not can appear. But regardless In addition, it is already assumed that it is a community transmission”, says virologist Camila Malta, researcher at the Medical Investigation Laboratory of the Hospital das Clínicas da FMUSP (Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo) and the Institute of Tropical Medicine.

Late yesterday afternoon, the Ministry of Health announced that three cases from São Paulo were under investigation of local transmission, because, according to the first verifications, three men in the state are sick and also have no travel history or contact with travelers.

Infectologist Eliana Bicudo, from SBI (Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases), emphasizes that it is important that those who are contacted with patients are tracked, because, if community transmission is confirmed, this will change the panorama of the disease in Brazil.

“It seems that there was autochthonous transmission in Brazil, but it is necessary to investigate through surveillance of tracking contacts. If we have confirmed autochthonous cases, the transmission is local and the number of cases will increase a lot. We will have an outbreak, and not just imported cases”, warns the doctor.

The virologist explains that the local transmission is not surprising. “It was already expected that this would happen. In countries where this disease was detected, it ended up having community transmission a few weeks later. It is a contagious disease, not as contagious as Covid, but it is transmitted by fluids, use of towels, contaminated clothing. Therefore, if the individual lives with someone or shares or shares utensils or clothes with someone else, there is a possibility of transmission”, says Camila.

What changes with community transmission?

The experts explain that the emergence of infected community forces health surveillance bodies to pay greater attention to the emergence of new cases. “Rigorous screening measures, rapid diagnosis, adequate isolation and other measures to contain the outbreak”, suggests Eliana.

Camila adds that health professionals should also be aware of the change. “As we already have the disease circulating around here, a clinician cannot simply rule out a smallpox diagnosis by [fato de o] patient did not simply travel. This usually happened when we still didn’t have the endemic disease here. Now it is no longer a part. The individual may not have had contact with anyone and still have contracted it.”

Widespread communication of monkeypox to the general population is critical. “It is quite possible that some measures will be taken to try to control transmission and warnings to the population to prevent themselves. It is important to intensify all the information that is already available today so that a greater number of people can prevent themselves”, stresses the virologist.

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