Less Severe Monkeypox Virus Confirmed in Europe
Over the past three weeks, the global monkeypox outbreak has raised many questions. Finally, an essential clinical opinion has just been answered.
A non-peer-reviewed study from Lisbon, Portugal, published on May 19, 2022, is the first draft genome sequence of the monkeypox virus associated with the ongoing outbreak. This sequence was obtained from a male patient collected on May 4th from skin lesions.
A first rapid phylogenetic analysis of the draft genome indicates that the 2022 version belongs to the West African clade.
Human infections with the West African clade appear to cause less severe disease than in the Congo Basin clade, with a case fatality rate of 3.6% compared to 10.6% for the Congo Basin clade, reported the World Health Organization on May 19, 2022.
And this genome is most closely related to viruses associated with the exportation of monkeypox from Nigeria to several countries in 2018 and 2019, namely the United Kingdom, Israel, and Singapore.
‘This preliminary data and analysis will be soon updated upon the release of new genome data, which will be important to elucidate the origin and international spread of the currently circulating virus,’ added these researchers.
The WHO says ‘Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.’
As of May 22, 2022, fifteen countries have reported about (200) potential monkeypox cases.
Monkeypox is a vaccine-preventable viral zoonotic disease.
A new monkeypox vaccine, Jynneos®, has been licensed by the U.S. FDA since 2019 to prevent both monkeypox and smallpox. The U.K. began offering this vaccine to certain people in England in mid-May 2022.
And, because the monkeypox virus is closely related to the virus that causes smallpox, research indicates the ACAM2000® smallpox vaccine may also protect people from getting monkeypox.
According to the U.S. CDC, past data from African research suggests that the initial smallpox vaccine is about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox.
These vaccines are currently available at certified locations in the U.S., such as the military.
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