From suspected case to confirmed case in less than 24 hours. A first patient is indeed suffering from monkeypox in France, announced this Friday the General Directorate of Health. He is a 29-year-old man residing in Île-de-France, "with no history of travel to a country where the virus is circulating". His condition is not considered serious, he is isolated at his home. "An in-depth epidemiological investigation is being implemented" and "the people who have been in close contact with this patient are being identified", say the health authorities.
In recent days, several dozen suspected or confirmed cases have been identified in various European countries (United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, etc.) and North America (United States and Canada). Monkey pox virus has been endemic in parts of Africa since the late 1970s. time is "unpublished" and "unusual", recognizes the Ministry of Health.
Read alsoMonkey pox: after a first suspected case in France, should we fear an epidemic?
Another element that arouses vigilance: it seems that patients have been infected in their own country, as in the United Kingdom. This could also be the case for the first patient identified in France, since he had not traveled to a country where the virus is circulating. "It's surprising, because in the past these were usually imported cases from West or Central Africa," observes epidemiologist Éric D'Ortenzio.
Instances seized for treatments and vaccines
No question of being alarmed, however, because this virus is generally benign. If its fatality rate could reach 10% in certain places and at certain times in Africa, it will be much less in countries with a developed health system. "In the United States, out of 72 cases during a previous epidemic in 2003, there was no serious form or death," virologist Antoine Gessain, professor at the Institut Pasteur and connoisseur of the disease, reminded us on Thursday. topic. In addition, it is possible that the type of virus currently in circulation is less virulent.
However, this spread must be closely monitored in order to understand its origins, especially since several cases are members of the homosexual community, and to manage to contain it as quickly as possible. For France, the Directorate General of Health asked health professionals, in a message sent Thursday evening, for "vigilance" and to systematically report any suspicious cases. Suggestive symptoms begin with fever, muscle or head aches, then particles may appear on the skin (including the genitals). A PCR test then makes it possible to confirm - or not - the virus in question.
According to our information, the High Authority for Health, the High Council for Public Health and the National Medicines Safety Agency have been contacted to find out which treatments and vaccines would be available and appropriate if necessary. While there is no specific, readily available product for monkeypox, some of those available may have an effect.