What you need to know about monkeypox and its transmission in Spain

What you need to know about monkeypox and its transmission in Spain image communidad madrid

Tests in Madrid have revealed what you really need to know about monkeypox in Spain, its transmission and just how it may or may not affect you.

Test results released today June 7 show that Spain has the second-highest number of cases in the world, second only to the UK which have 225 cases. Currently, there are only 27 countries where the disease has not appeared.

Elena Andradas, General Director of Public Health of the Community of Madrid, speaking at a conference arranged by Ramón Areces Foundation said that in Madrid 91 per cent of the cases are for people under the age of 50. She added that this was significant as these individuals would not have been vaccinated against smallpox.

The smallpox vaccine is known to be 85 per cent effective against monkeypox.

In every one of the cases, they presented skin lesions including in the genital area, with 61 per cent experiencing a fever. Roughly half suffered myalgia and fatigue after infection.

More importantly in all cases, the person had four contacts with others, and in many of the cases, they are unable to identify who they were with. The majority of those affected were under the age of 40 (70 per cent).

Andradas confirmed the link between monkeypox infections and casual sex amongst the gay community at private functions and at pride parties.

Only one woman has presented with the virus, but she is known to have links with the chain of transmission with one of the men declaring himself heterosexual.

She stressed that caring for someone with monkeypox will not involve transmission that is unless there is a sharing of body fluids.

Perhaps the most staggering statistic is that 48 per cent of the men are HIV positive, and that can lead to AIDS.

She was also able to link transmissions in the UK and Portugal with those in Spain, with some of those involved saying they had “slept” with men from these countries.

Andradas said that in all cases the virus was manageable with none of the people infected requiring hospitalisation.

However, the expert has stressed that the evolution of all the cases detected so far is favourable and that none have required hospital admission. She added that the peak rate of transmission was during the period 13 to 15 May.

Referring to pets she said that care should be taken not to spread the virus to pets since they can also transmit the disease. She advocated the wearing of masks while infected and avoiding pets and the sharing clothes, towels and bed linen.

Those who contract monkeypox are required by law to notify their contacts and to take the necessary precautions for 21 days.

For now, that is all that is known about the monkeypox outbreak in Spain, but it does provide a measure of comfort to those who might’ve thought they were vulnerable but will now be aware of its transmission method knowing that they either don’t fall into the group most affected or engage in the practices that have caused the spread of the virus.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]