Mpox, monkey pox, is still a public health problem, says Fiocruz

Mpox, monkey pox, is still a public health problem, says Fiocruz

The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), together with the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectology (INI), launched a special edition of the insert Mpox Multinacional na Américas: LIções do Brasil e do México, of the scientific magazine The Lancet Regional Health Americas in the last Wednesday (25th), where the state of Mpox, popularly known as monkey pox, is discussed. The disease is still considered a public health problem in the region.

  • Mpox: Rio surpasses 1,300 cases of monkeypox
  • WHO changes name of monkeypox to Mpox

Viral, Mpox is transmitted between humans through lesions on the skin of those infected, body fluids and infected bedding, and has generated concern in 2022 for its spread in Europe, the Americas and Asia, leaving its endemic region in Africa. This is one of the topics commented on by experts such as infectologist Beatriz Grinsztejn, who recalled the negligence in research and allocation of resources for effective treatment in African countries.

Mpox and social clippings

According to the scientist, the attention on the pathology only being raised when it arrived in Europe would be a shame for the world, since Africa has been dealing with Mpox for decades, mainly in poor countries. In Nigeria, genital lesions caused by the disease had already been described, indicating synergy with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In the country, the diversity of sexual orientations is not accepted, which aggravates the situation mainly in marginalized groups, such as the LGBTQIAP+.

Vera Paiva, professor at the Department of Social Psychology at the University of São Paulo (USP) commented on 5 important areas that cannot be neglected, both in the covid-19 pandemic and in others, including the recent Mpox outbreaks. Are they:

  • Association of infections with people from more vulnerable segments of society;
  • Structures of the health system and its problems;
  • Combat misleading or inaccurate messages (fake news);
  • Reduction of dependency on foreign vaccines and treatments;
  • Solving governance crises in the midst of fighting pandemics.

According to the scientist, we have already noticed that epidemics and pandemics are not just viral events, but interconnected with their entire context. Coping policies have a lot of influence on transmission, as evidenced by the high number of deaths and illnesses in more economically fragile peripheral regions. Markers of inequality and violation of human rights are confirmed by the growth of pandemics in such places, points out the professor.

cases in Brazil

Until the 24th of January of this year, 10,711 cases of Mpox were confirmed in Brazil, including 11 deaths, especially affecting the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In 2022, the INI assisted 416 confirmed cases in the first state, and 402 in the second. In January alone, there were 32 cases treated, with 22 confirmed, 5 discarded and another 5 under Reviews. The positivity rate for this year is already considered high, and a challenge for public health.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, analyzes by INI/Fiocruz point out that cis men represent the majority of those infected, with 87% of cases, against 5.5% infected cis women. The most affected age group ranges from 30 to 39 years, and 97% of all patients had some sexual intercourse in the 30 days preceding the symptoms, reinforcing transmission during the act. Of the patients confirmed at the INI/Fiocruz, 51% were living with the HIV virus and 30% had only one part of their body affected by the disease.

Source: Brazil Agency