Careful monitoring and Regions alerted, but no alarm situation at the moment. Anna Palamara, director of the Infectious Diseases department of the Higher Institute of Health (Iss), invites you to calm down and underlines, in an interview with ANSA, as the cases of monkeypox reported in Italy are currently a small number and the situation is under control. At the same time, however, it calls for caution especially in close or sexual contacts, as this virus is transmitted to humans through contact with body fluids.
“The Ministry of Health – he explains – is carefully monitoring the cases of monkeypox reported in Italy and which would currently be few and has alerted the Regions to trace any cases. The Higher Institute of Health has also activated a task force to follow the evolution of the situation in the best possible way. At the moment there is no alarm situation in our country and the framework is under control “.
No imminent danger, therefore, even if the attention is obviously high after the cases of infection reported in various European countries and in the USA have increased in recent days, starting from the beginning of May. Caution in behavior is therefore a must: “We recommend caution in close or sexual contacts that require an exchange of body fluids, especially if there are skin lesions or feverish symptoms”, explains Palamara, adding that the ISS has warned about throughout the territory the sentinel networks of the centers for sexually transmitted infections in order to monitor the national situation. The health authorities “are keeping the situation under control and subsequently – Palamara affirms – the possible need for specific measures will be assessed”.
As for the type of infection, monkeypox “is caused – he clarifies – from a virus that is of the same family as smallpox but which differs from the smallpox virus both for the lower diffusivity and for the lower severity “. The infection” can be transmitted through saliva and body fluids and above all through close contact “. The original reservoir of the virus” has not yet been identified, but seems to reside in small rodents. The disease now – Palamara highlights – is however being transmitted from man to man “.
However, at least in the cases reported so far in Europe and the USA, this is not a disease with serious effects: “The symptoms are various but generally mild, such as fever, muscle pain, headache, swelling of the lymph nodes, fatigue. skin manifestations, such as vesicles or small pustules also on the sexual organs “.
The course “is usually benign and resolves in a few weeks and even in the absence of specific therapies. The disease – concludes the expert – generally evolves spontaneously and without the need for drugs”.