SP trains maternity hospitals and schools to contain smallpox from monkeys

The São Paulo City Hall and the São Paulo state government announced measures to face the monkeypox outbreak: the plans include preparing maternity hospitals to care for infected pregnant women and guidance to teachers to identify suspected cases among children. Until yesterday, 1,298 infections had been registered in the state – most of them in Greater São Paulo.

The disease is more common in gay and bisexual men (97% of cases), but the government considers that other groups can also be infected, including people at risk of worsening, such as pregnant women, children up to 8 years old and people with immune deficiency. (immunosuppressed).

“It can happen to everyone,” said the state secretary of Science, Research and Development in Health, David Uip, at an event about the plan to combat the disease in the state. For him, the prevalence of the disease among men who have sex with other men is “transient”. “In a little while, everyone will be susceptible to contamination,” said Uip. In the state, there are five children up to 9 years old and five infected adolescents, in isolation, in addition to two pregnant women.

Yesterday, the United States declared the virus a public health emergency, as the World Health Organization (WHO) did on the 25th.


Monkeypox is transmitted by contact with skin lesions, body fluids, droplets and contaminated materials. The lethality, in general, is low and the characteristics of transmission and hospital demand are quite different from covid-19. In Brazil, the 1st death of a patient who was undergoing cancer treatment was recorded last week.

State Secretary of Health, Jean Gorinchteyn considers that the outbreak should have more impact on care in basic health units than in hospital beds – yesterday, there were two hospitalized in the state. Still, he said, efforts need to be coordinated for diagnosis and care.

The government defined 93 state hospitals and reference maternity hospitals for more serious cases requiring hospitalization, isolation beds or ICUs. In relation to maternity hospitals, the plan provides for monitoring infected pregnant women and recommending them to deliver in a high-risk health unit. In addition, the general recommendation for delivery of infected women will be cesarean section.

Infected pregnant women can have normal delivery if there are no lesions in the vulvovaginal or perianal region (around the anus). The idea is to prevent transmission to the newborn. “We have 56 maternity hospitals in the state ready for patients,” Gorinchteyn said. The recommendation is also to stop breastfeeding for 14 days if the mother is infected. It is still unclear whether transmission occurs through breast milk. “The guideline is to keep (the baby) away from the (infected) mother to avoid contact,” she said.

This week, the Ministry of Health recommended that pregnant women, postpartum women (women who have just given birth) and breastfeeding women wear masks indoors to prevent smallpox infection. The orientation was classified by the São Paulo government as “prudent”.


On another front, the City of São Paulo trained education professionals, such as principals and teachers, to identify suspected cases among children. The training, which also included health professionals, was attended by 5,500 employees and took place after cases among children were registered.

“We are trying to show teachers that if they see a child with any kind of injury – and in their own home this can also be verified – (they should) take them to a health unit for early diagnosis and early isolation to prevent spread,” he explained. the municipal secretary of Health, Luiz Carlos Zamarco.

He says that the evolution of the disease in children is still unknown – until now, in São Paulo, all had mild symptoms. Among those infected in the capital, the contamination was probably at home by a family member, says Luiz Artur Vieira Caldeira, from the Health Surveillance Coordination. Sharing objects, such as face towels, in addition to kissing and hugging, can not transmit the virus – people with suspected disease should avoid these practices.

For infectious disease specialist Marco Aurélio Sáfadi, who participated in the training of educators, the time is right for caution, but without panic. It removes the risk that schools are sources of contagion. “The risk will be much greater in the house where there is eventually an affair.” Unions and associations of private schools in São Paulo say they have no cases among their students.

The information is from the newspaper. The State of São Paulo.

About Abhishek Pratap

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