The CHUV has set up a care protocol for pregnant women exposed to monkeypox, a virus whose consequences can be serious during pregnancy. They are advised not to go to countries where the virus circulates a lot.
Even not yet out of Covid-19 that a new epidemic appears: monkey pox (or ‘monkeypox’ in English). “The situation is clearly unusual, and is a little too reminiscent of that of the start of the coronavirus pandemic,” said David Baud, head of the maternity ward at the Vaudois University Hospital Center (CHUV), at Keystone-ATS.
Reassure as soon as possible
In order to be able to take care of pregnant women possibly exposed to the virus as quickly as possible, the CHUV maternity hospital, in collaboration with other world experts, has implemented a protocol determining the procedure to follow in the event of suspicion: how to test a pregnant woman, what smear to take, what to do if she has been in contact with someone infected, what medicine or should you vaccinate, detailed the professor.
Published Wednesday in the scientific journal The Lancet, “this pre-protocol will allow us to effectively take care of exposed pregnant women, prevent infection and be able to reassure as quickly as possible”, he noted. Any suspicious skin rash or close contact with a person tested positive should lead the pregnant woman to consult.
Rare but worrying
In view of the effects of the two previous pandemics of zika and coronavirus on pregnant women, questions arise as to the impact of this new virus on pregnancies. ‘The data are scarce, but unfortunately not reassuring during pregnancy,’ acknowledged the professor. ‘In the few pregnant women infected to date, monkeypox can induce miscarriage or serious malformations, such as a kind of fetal varicella’.
David Baud recalls that pregnant women have an increased risk of infection compared to non-pregnant women of the same age, for all types of infections. “Again, pregnant women and their fetuses are therefore to be considered as vulnerable people and must therefore protect themselves,” he insisted.
To deal with this new virus, the measures consist of avoiding contact with infected people, their personal belongings, and respecting the same barrier gestures as with Covid-19.
Outside Africa, where the virus has been known to circulate in humans since the 1970s, more than 2,000 cases in around 40 countries have been identified. While the virus seemed to only spread from animals to humans so far, it now appears to be spreading worryingly between humans and outside the African continent. Indeed, the majority of current cases have not traveled or been in contact with travellers, the head of the maternity ward and his colleagues found.