How contagious is monkeypox to close contacts of infected people? “From outbreaks in Africa, the secondary attack rate is estimated at 9-12% among unvaccinated contacts within families, however other estimates reach 50%, while in the 2003 US outbreak it was 0. % “. This is highlighted in a circular from the Ministry of Health, which gives indications on reporting, contact tracing and case management of monkeypox (Mpx). “Although some of the reported cases are epidemiologically connected – it is specified – in this epidemic the transmission to close contacts has not yet been documented”.
“The contacts – it is recalled in the text – must be monitored at least daily for the onset of signs / symptoms referable to Mpx for a period of 21 days from the last contact with a patient or with his contaminated materials during the infectious period. Signs Symptoms include headache, fever, chills, sore throat, malaise, fatigue, myalgia, back pain, rash and lymphadenopathy. Contacts should monitor their temperature twice a day. ” Again: “Asymptomatic contacts must not donate blood, cells, tissues, organs, breast milk or sperm while under surveillance. During the 21 days of surveillance, contacts of an MPX case must avoid contact with immunosuppressed persons, pregnant women and children under the age of 12 “.
Healthcare and contagion risk
“The likelihood of transmission of” monkeypox virus “infection to healthcare workers wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (disposable gown, disposable gloves, disposable shoe covers or boots, respiratory protection type Ffp2 and eye protection with goggles or visor ) is very low and the disease has a low estimated impact, which leads to a low overall risk “, specifies the circular.
“Transmission to healthcare workers exposed to MPX patients is possible – is the premise – given the risk of transmission of other orthopoxviruses, such as smallpox. In the health sector, the prevention of transmission is based on adequate prevention and control measures. infections. MPX is believed to be transmitted primarily through droplets and direct contact with body fluids or wound material. ” Thus “the risk to health care workers having unprotected close contact with MPX cases (eg contact with open lesions without gloves, intubation or other invasive medical procedures) is assessed as moderate, equivalent to that of close contact”.
“Occupational exposure and orthopoxvirus infection have occasionally been reported among laboratory staff handling samples containing the virus – the circular continues – The risk of occupational exposure is estimated to be low for trained laboratory personnel following biosecurity procedures adequate “. While “unprotected occupational exposure in the laboratory, which involves in particular the spreading of material or aerosolization with exposure of the mucous membranes, carries a high probability of infection and a moderate risk of disease (due to the mode of direct exposure to mucous membranes), therefore the risk for exposed laboratory personnel is assessed as high “.