How likely it is to get monkeypox from using subways, hotels, and second-hand clothes

In the presence of the monkeypox virus, it is advisable to continue using face masks in crowded spaces (Photo: Daniel Augusto/cuartoscuro.com)

Twenty-one days after the world’s first case of monkeypox virus was reported, during the most recent outbreak, Mexican authorities notified the presence of the first person with the symptomatic picture. It is a case imported and his presence has generated doubts among the population. Although so far it has been classified as a less aggressive virus that the cause of COVID-19, Infobae Mexico he consulted an expert to know its nature in detail.

Carol Perelmana biochemist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), science communicator and member of the Mexican Network of Science Journalists, assured that the only way the virus can be transmitted from person to person is when a positive patient already has obvious symptoms of the disease. Unlike the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, it is not transmissible from asymptomatic cases.

“It is only spread when there is contact with a person who already has a fever, swollen lymph nodes, pustules that start on the face and genitals (…) also depending on the time of exposure and contact, that is why the mask is essential until we do not finish understanding how it is being transmitted”

The first case of monkeypox appeared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970 (Photo: File)
The first case of monkeypox appeared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970 (Photo: File)

According to the World Health Organization (OMS), person-to-person transmission can occur through close contact with respiratory secretionsas well as skin lesions of a person infected. Similarly, it is likely to catch the virus through contact with recently contaminated objects or surfaces.

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The presence of COVID-19 brought with it prevention recommendations thanks to its high degree of contagiousness in closed spaces. However, unlike the SARS-CoV-2 virus, for the contagion of the cause of monkeypox in an environment such as the subway or public transport, it is prolonged face-to-face contact is necessary. In this way, the WHO indicated that:

“Transmission via respiratory droplets is usually require prolonged face-to-face contactwhich increases the risk for healthcare professionalshousehold members and other close contacts of active cases,” the institution said in a statement.

Health personnel are more susceptible to contagion due to prolonged face-to-face contact (Photo: Carlos García Rawlins/REUTERS)
Health personnel are more susceptible to contagion due to prolonged face-to-face contact (Photo: Carlos García Rawlins/REUTERS)

However, although the possibility of transmission is lower, cessation of vaccination against smallpox virus can lead to decreased immunity in all communities. In that sense, the use of barrier protectors such as sheds further reduces the risk of infection.

Another route of exposure to the monkeypox virus is found in the contaminated surfaces. In this case, Perelman claimed that “We don’t know how long activelybut we do know that smallpox is a disease that can be spread on surfaces like bedding of a patient who is positive. We don’t know how long it lasts active because it depends on temperature, humidity and other factors.

In that sense, it is recommended Immediately wash the infected person’s clothing, towels, sheets, and eating utensils with warm, soapy water. In the case of surfaces, it is recommended clean and disinfect any contaminated surface and that hotels comply with the necessary hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the disease through fabrics and surfaces.

Well-executed hygiene and disinfection measures can reduce the rate of monkeypox infection (Photo: Tyrone Siu/REUTERS)
Well-executed hygiene and disinfection measures can reduce the rate of monkeypox infection (Photo: Tyrone Siu/REUTERS)

Like the bedding and personal items of infected people, the virus can be transmitted through clothing. However, the WHO recognized that the The risk increases if the garments have been in recent contact with people who are positive for the disease. In the case of second-hand clothing, it is unlikely that the virus can remain active for a long time, although it is always recommended Wash any garment before wearing.

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According to Perelman, although apparently it is a less transmissible virus, aggressive and with a slower rate of mutation due to its nature, the use of face masks must continue until epidemiologists can issue precise information and details about its transmission routes and incubation times.

The use of face masks must remain until the epidemiological reports provide more detailed information on the monkeypox virus (Photo: Mario Jasso/CUARTOCURO.COM)
The use of face masks must remain until the epidemiological reports provide more detailed information on the monkeypox virus (Photo: Mario Jasso/CUARTOCURO.COM)

The mortality rate, according to the WHO, is between 3 and 6 percent, although no deaths have been recorded. Meanwhile, an epidemiologist consulted by Infobaewho preferred to remain anonymous, stated that to reduce the risk of transmission it is necessary locate and isolate people who have had contact with a positive case in 25 dias most recent to diagnosis.

For her part, the specialist specified that there are a couple of vaccines and antiviral medicine to combat it. Although Mexico does not have such resources, Perelman pointed out that the behavior of the virus has not made it necessary to reactivate vaccination for the entire population.

KEEP READING:

Everything you need to know about monkeypox: myths, truths and latest scientific data
Monkeypox arrived in Mexico: they confirm the first case in CDMX in a 50-year-old man
Monkeypox arrived in Mexico: UNAM gives recommendations to avoid contagion

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