The Oswaldo Cruz Institute’s Enterovirus Laboratory (IOC/Fiocruz) has been designated as the Department of Health (MS) reference laboratory for the analysis of samples suspected of being infected with monkeypox (monkeypox). The unit will analyze material collected in the state of Rio de Janeiro and throughout the Northeast region.
The appointment increases the reference network in laboratory diagnosis of the disease in the country. The Ezequiel Dias Foundation in Minas Gerais was part of the network; Adolfo Lutz Institute in São Paulo; and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, through the Molecular Biology of Virology and Molecular Virology Laboratories.
The head of the IOC’s Enterovirus Laboratory, Edson Elias, highlighted that with the virus spreading rapidly in the world, the Vucruz trial will contribute to an accurate Brazilian response to the outbreak. Last week, the Vuecruz lab provided training on how to test for the disease to health professionals in Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
According to the Ministry of Health, it is considered a suspected or probable case of any individual of any age, as of March 15, 2022, who had sudden-onset fever, swollen lymph nodes and rash. You should also be aware of close and prolonged exposure without respiratory protection, direct physical contact, including sexual contact, or contact with contaminated items, such as clothing or bedding, with any possible or confirmed case of monkeypox.
Also of note is a history of travel to endemic countries or countries with confirmed cases of the disease, which is endemic to Central and West Africa. This year, cases were also recorded in Europe and the Americas. As of Tuesday (14), more than 1,700 cases have been confirmed in 36 countries, such as the United Kingdom (470), Spain (275), Portugal (231) and Germany (229). In the Americas region, cases have been diagnosed in Canada (123), the United States (65), Argentina (3), Mexico (2) and Venezuela (1). In Brazil, there are already four positive cases.
Despite the name, the disease does not originate from the monkey virus. Only primates can get sick, just like humans. It is not currently known which animal carries the virus in the wild, but rodents are believed to play a role in the spread of the disease in Africa.
Transmission of the virus from animals to humans can occur through biting, scratching, handling wild animals, or using products made from infected animals. Person-to-person transmission occurs primarily through direct contact, such as kissing or hugs, or through infectious wounds and crusts or body fluids, and respiratory secretions during prolonged personal contact.
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