Another pandemic before? Understand the differences between monkeypox and Covid-19 – News

When the first cases monkey-pox It began to be diagnosed in Europe and soon spread around the world, with the feeling that it was the film of a new pandemic like this. Covid-19 would repeat.

But is there a chance of that happening? Do viruses and diseases have anything in common? heard by experts R7 answer.


O the monkeythe English name for the pathogen that causes the monkey is DNA virus SARS-CoV-2 RNA is. The former is composed of a more complex genetic composition than the latter.

But what does that mean in practice? Virologist Rodrigo Rodrigues, an associate professor at the UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais), explained that the difference lies in the ability of viruses to mutate and fight.

“DNA viruses have what we call a lower mutation rate, they change less than RNA viruses. So by comparison, a new variant appears every day [do Sars-Cov-2]This is not usually the case with DNA viruses, which are more resistant to the environment, so this also reflects on some of the biological characteristics of this virus: the cells it will infect, the type of problem it will cause, ”explained Rodrigues.

Contrary to expectations, however, around 47 mutations in the virus responsible for the appearance of the present monkey. However, it is not yet possible to say whether the variations were stronger, occurred more quickly, or whether they were not observed before.

The virologist also noted that DNA can also repair the damage that a virus can eventually cause when it eventually enters a cell, unlike RNA viruses. In addition, they also come in different sizes.

“Virus particles and structures are very different. O [monkeypox] It has an outer layer, called a capsid, which is more resistant, a much larger virus, almost double that of the coronavirus. And the protein composition is stronger, the DNA virus also lasts longer in the environment compared to the Covid virus, for example, ”he said.

There are also differences in the way viruses are transmitted: Sars-Cov-2 spreads through aerosols, and saliva particles can become smaller and smaller, for example, and have a greater ability to spread because they remain suspended for a longer period of time. time.air.

Already monkeypox virus is less transmitted and are transmitted by larger particles (droplets), in addition to being contaminated, in contact with the secretion that creates the blisters that the monkey causes on the skin, as well as with other animals, such as rodents. the disease is common.

Virologist Clarissa Damaso, a consultant at the Carlos Chagas Filho Institute for Biophysics at the UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and a member of the Advisory Committee for the Study of the Baztanga Virus Research at the World Health Organization, explained that it was a respiratory transmission. in both cases there is a need for more intense contact with monkeypox.

“[Na] Covid has respiratory transmission where you are farther away [da outra pessoa] and catch. breathing [da varíola do macaco] face to face, someone has to talk very close to get rid of the drops and get in through the mucous membranes of the mouth, you have to be in contact with saliva, sneezing, coughing or secretions that come in contact with the skin ”. God ..

In addition, Clarissa stressed the importance of avoiding touching the injuries of those infected. It is advisable, in these cases, to avoid getting too close to the material used to clean the places where the person was in contact, such as beds.

Virologist Rodrigo Rodrigues explains this about virus mortality Monkeypox is more deadly than Sars-Cov-2 in a general comparison.

It is noteworthy that in Africa, where in some countries the monkey is endemic, there are two major strains of the virus that cause the disease, with the least lethal being responsible for the current outbreak.

“It’s hard to compare mortality because they are very different viruses, but if we looked at them one by one, monkey tails have higher mortality, but because they transmit less, we can more easily control them. Now let’s see how this will be, because this data is there [África]. When a virus infects someone, it is also on the host’s side, so we don’t know very well how this will be in other parts of the world, ”says the expert.


THE Covid-19 and monkeypox are completely different diseasesAccording to Raquel Stucchi, a specialist in infectious diseases, a professor at the Unicamp School of Medical Sciences (Campinas State University).

“Covid is usually a condition of the upper respiratory tract, mostly fever, body aches, runny nose, cough which can cause shortness of breath. You may experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea. The intensity and severity of these symptoms can vary greatly, but are often more severe. [entre idosos] and people with comorbidities, ”he said.

Already in monkeypox, the initial symptoms fever, malignancy, and lymph nodes, such as bruises on the neck, armpits, or groin, only appear on the skin of the blisters – which heal in about a week and disappear on their own.

According to the specialist in infectious diseases, having comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension is not usually associated with a higher severity of the disease. However, people who are immunocompromised, transplanted and receiving cancer treatment, as well as children and pregnant women, are involved. monkeypox risk group.

“What can be more serious and lead to death is, first and foremost, a very high number of injuries to the whole body, which increases the risk of a bacterial infection in small skin wounds. Having a lot of lesions can also lead to a higher number of viruses, which can lead to pneumonia, which is eventually caused by the virus itself, or to encephalitis, an infection of the central nervous system, ”explains Raquel.

Virologist Rodrigo Rodrigues points out that the risk of the monkey’s smallpox causing a major problem, such as the onset of a new pandemic, is much lower.

“Unlike Sars-Cov-2, monkeypox is a virus we already know, there are many studies, treatment options are ready for an already very advanced vaccine, so it is different from what happened when Covid happened. And now that surveillance is on top, many countries around the world are already doing that surveillance work, here Also in Brazil“He says.

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