Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are monitoring the health status of passengers on the flights they were on Monkeypox cases identified. The measure was carried out by Rio de Janeiro’s municipal health ministry and São Paulo state’s health ministry, according to the agencies’ press offices.
Brazil has already recorded seven cases of the disease. The Ministry of Health confirmed the latest of them on Friday (17).
Of the seven confirmed cases in the country, four are from Sao Paulo, two are from Rio Grande do Sul and one is from Rio de Janeiro. Nine other cases are being investigated. The first case was registered in Brazil on June 8.
In the capital of Rio de Janeiro, the municipal health department says it has begun a survey of travelers who were on the same flight as the patient. monkey pox. Traveler data was provided by Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency).
The first case of monkeypox was confirmed in Rio on Tuesday (14). It is a 38-year-old man, based in London, who arrived in Brazil on June 11 and sought care at the Evandro Chagas Institute the day after disembarkation. Samples were analyzed by the Carlos Chagas Filho Institute, of UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).
The Municipal Secretariat also counts on the cooperation of the Ministry of Health of Rio de Janeiro to implement this people watch who had contact with the patient.
Currently, there are already five people who are being monitored by the health authorities in Rio because they have been in close contact with him. Notes if they Symptoms of the disease appear – If they do, then diagnostic tests will be performed. However, these five are not passengers on the plane, Amanat says.
According to the Municipal Ministry, the monitoring procedures to be followed for travelers have not yet been determined.
In Sao Paulo, the state health department said it had contacted all passengers on flights who had confirmed cases. As in Rio de Janeiro, Anvisa provided passenger data.
The Health Surveillance Agency, in turn, makes it clear that it is responsible for collecting information at ports and airports, both monkeypox (The English name for monkeypox) and for other diseases. Anvisa says it relays passenger and crew information to the country’s health authorities, such as local secretariats, and these determine how these people are followed up.
The bound I contacted the Ministry of Health for comment on this protocol in cases of flights in which monkeypox had been diagnosed, but had received no response until the publication of the report.
Chances of transmission
Monitoring passengers on flights with confirmed cases monkey pox It still generates some doubts. This is because virus transmission Mainly through contact with infected wounds. Another common method is through materials, such as clothing, that have come into contact with these wounds.
However, the pathogen can also be transmitted through respiratory secretions, but requires close and prolonged contact. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that passing someone with the disease in the supermarket should not cause transmission, for example.
Precisely because the chance of infection is lower through the respiratory system, the odds of it being transmitted on airplanes are small. The CDC explains that “in cases where people with monkeypox traveled by plane, there were no known cases of monkeypox in people seated around them, even on long international flights.”
However, control measures are important, especially in The first moments of an outbreak like what is happening nowSays Raquel Stocchi, infectious disease specialist and professor at Unicamp (Campinas State University).
“This energy being expended on investigating passengers, at the moment when the first cases appear in the country, I think it is justified,” he says.
In these cases, Stucchi says, one measure that could be taken is to adopt a questionnaire or app in which passengers indicate daily whether they have developed any common symptoms of monkeypox, such as fever or blister-shaped lesions.
Based on the monitoring measures of these first flights, it is possible to determine whether this initiative should really be taken for other similar cases, continued the infection specialist.
An important aspect is identifying the monkeypox control working group organized at the university, says Clarisa Damaso, a virologist at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and one of the researchers who make up the monkeypox control working group organized at the university. Monitoring protocols To be followed in all cases.
“Even if it is a possibility [de transmissão] Low, does not mean it is impossible. That’s because you have skin-to-skin transmission, that’s the main method, and there’s also face-to-face transmission that will be more complex inside the plane, unless the person knows very well the passenger next to them,” says Damaso.
The virologist explains that it is possible to come into contact on a plane with the skin of an infected person, such as by shaking hands or touching the body, and then there is a greater chance of infection.
However, if it is observed that the person infected with monkeypox did not develop the pests at the time of flight, the chances of transmission are reduced. Therefore, Damaso says it is possible that there may be different monitoring mechanisms depending on the symptoms of the affected passenger.
In any case, the already known procedure that can prevent the transmission of monkeypox through the respiratory tract is use masks. The CDC recommends that an infected person use the equipment in close contact with other people.
Stucchi offers similar guidelines. The infection specialist concludes, “The use of masks prevents this rare respiratory transmission.”
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