Ministry of Health issues guidelines on monkeypox

posted on 08/02/2022 15:30 / updated on 08/02/2022 15:32

  (credit: iStock)

(credit: iStock)

The Ministry of Health released, on Monday (8/1), a technical note on monkeypox, with guidelines on the disease for health professionals and pregnant, lactating and postpartum women. Among the recommendations is the maintenance of the use of masks, especially in environments with potentially contaminated people, and the use of condoms in all types of sexual intercourse.

The document also guides individuals to be on alert if the sexual partner has any injury in the genital area. In these cases, it is recommended that there is no contact between the couple. According to the Ministry of Health, such observations are necessary because transmission by intimate contact has been the most frequent in the current outbreak of monkeypox.

In addition, the technical note states that pregnant, lactating and puerperal women should stay away from people with suspicious symptoms of the disease, such as fever and skin lesions.

Although pregnant women have a clinical picture similar to the rest of the population, the Ministry of Health informs that they may have a more severe form of the disease. For this reason, they are considered by the government as a risk group and are a priority for laboratory diagnosis of the virus. Currently, in addition to pregnant women, the ministry indicates two other risk groups: children up to 8 years old and immunosuppressed.


According to the technical note, since studies on monkeypox and pregnant women are still scarce, the current guidelines from the Ministry of Health are based on the previous experience of pregnant women who had the human form of smallpox, eradicated in Brazil in the 1990s. 1980.

The document also advises that, although monkeypox is a self-limiting disease, that is, it usually has a spontaneous cure, there may be cases, especially for immunosuppressed people, in which it is necessary to treat with specific drugs.

Although there is no specific treatment protocol with antivirals in the pregnancy-puerperal cycle, the Ministry of Health guides how health professionals should act: in cases in which the asymptomatic pregnant woman was exposed to the virus, but tested negative, patient monitoring can be performed. suspended. If she tests positive, home isolation without visits for 21 days is recommended. The same is indicated for those who are negative for the exam, but have symptoms. In this case, it is necessary to retake the test if the symptoms persist.

Once the disease is confirmed, the technical note advises that measures be taken according to the severity of the infection. In light cases, for example, an assistance team must accompany the pregnant woman during the quarantine. In cases of greater severity, hospitalization in a health unit is recommended by the Ministry of Health.

* Intern under the supervision of Carlos Alexandre Souza

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