Since this week, five French pharmacies, in Hauts-de-France, Île-de-France and Paca, have been experimenting with vaccination against monkey pox. The virus, which appeared in the country three months ago, has already caused more than 2,600 cases in France and 28,000 worldwide. Should we fear a new pandemic? Antoine Flahault, epidemiologist and director of the Geneva Institute of Global Health, returned to the subject at the microphone of Sophie Tusseau on Europe 1.
“Not just an STD”
“We can say that we are facing the start of something which could become a new pandemic. More than 90 countries are now concerned outside the classic endemic areas. Many European countries have also been concerned since the month of May with an epidemic trend that has the same form, in terms of exponential progression, as the start of the Covid epidemic. We have a doubling of the number of global cases every 15 days, very steadily since July If it ever continues at this rate, we could end up with a spread that could become pandemic,” said the epidemiologist.
As for the vaccination campaign, Antoine Flahault considers it necessary. “It was recommended by all scientific authorities and it is important to try to do the maximum to slow down the phenomenon. The English, the Germans and the French are doing everything to slow down this epidemic growth, which is obviously desirable. The more we control the phenomenon, the less we will let it escape into the population and the better it will be,” he insists.
If for the moment, monkeypox seems to have mainly infected men who have homosexual relations, for Antoine Flahault, this virus cannot be considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD). “It’s probably not just an STD, it is true that this virus has been found in semen so it is recommended that people who have had monkeypox continue to wear condoms if they have sex. 12 weeks after the end of their isolation. It is possible that there is sexual transmission but the main mode of transmission seems to be cutaneous, but also perhaps by aerosol”, he concluded.