Spain eases protocols against monkeypox

Cases of monkeypox virus continue to decline in Spain, which is why the Ministry of Health has softened the action protocol, now considering that it is not necessary for those who are not hospitalized to isolate themselves, unless they present a large number of injuries that they cannot cover.

After months circulating in Spain, one of the most affected by the outbreak unleashed in May in non-endemic countries, and with 7,336 confirmed cases, the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES) has considered that it was necessary to review the latest update of the protocol in force since August due to the drop in positives.

The few cases that do occur continue to be identified mainly in men who have sex with men (MSM), and the main source of transmission is very close physical contact, especially in sexual relations in high-risk contexts.

Some sporadic cases have occurred in women, minors or the elderly, close contacts of confirmed cases, but "there has been no evidence of displacement to other population groups."

Also in other countries

"Currently -he argues- there is a reduction in the number of new cases both in Spain and in all the affected countries", which can be attributed to "multiple factors such as the saturation of transmission chains, the effect of the implementation of the measures of prevention and control” or the decrease in exposure after the summer period.

Also to changes in behavior that reduce the risk or the effect of vaccines, "although its real effectiveness as a preventive measure in the current situation is unknown."

Given this situation, the experts estimate that it is not necessary for cases that do not require hospitalization to isolate themselves, although they do continue to minimize interactions, especially with the vulnerable population, and avoid physical contact and sexual intercourse until the injuries - which must be be covered- have completely healed, the scabs have fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed.

At home

On the contrary, isolation at home is recommended for those who have a high number of injuries and cannot cover them; In addition, and following the precautionary principle, the use of a condom is recommended during the first 12 weeks after the end of isolation.

The surgical mask, especially in those who present respiratory symptoms, is still recommended, also for cohabitants when they come to provide care.

The affected person must have their own utensils, maintain adequate hand hygiene and avoid contact with wild or domestic animals.

Regarding close contacts, it is no longer necessary for them to take their temperature for 21 days after exposure, although in that period they must “extreme precautions and reduce social interactions as much as possible” constantly using the mask and refraining from maintain sexual contacts.

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