The cases of monkey pox in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have been identified to monitor the health of passengers on flights. The procedure was carried out by the Municipal Health Department of Rio de Janeiro and the Department of Health of São Paulo, according to the agency’s press offices.
Brazil has already registered seven cases of the disease. The last of these was confirmed this Friday (17) by the Ministry of Health.
Of the seven confirmed cases in the country, four are in São Paulo, two in Rio Grande do Sul and one in Rio de Janeiro. Nine other cases are being investigated. The first case in Brazil was registered on June 8.
In the capital, Rio de Janeiro, the Department of Municipal Health says it is starting a survey of passengers on the same flight as the patient who confirmed the monkeypox case. Passenger data provided by Anvisa (National Agency for Health Care).
The first case of the Rio monkey was confirmed on Tuesday (14). He is a 38-year-old man, a resident of London, who arrived in Brazil on June 11 and asked for attention at the Evandro Chagas Institute the day after he landed. The samples were analyzed by the Carlos Chagas Filho Institute, UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).
The municipal secretary also has the cooperation of the state health department of Rio de Janeiro to monitor the people who had contact with the patient.
Currently, five people are already being monitored because the Rio health authorities have had a close relationship with him. It is observed if they develop symptoms of the disease; if they do, diagnostic tests will be performed. However, those five are not passengers on the plane, they say from the secretariat.
According to the municipal department, the follow-up procedures for passengers have not yet been specified.
In São Paulo, the State Department of Health says it has contacted all passengers on flights who confirmed the cases. As in Rio de Janeiro, Anvisa provided passenger data.
The health agency, meanwhile, said it was responsible for gathering information at ports and airports, both for monkeypox (the English name for monkeypox) and for other diseases. Anvisa says it provides passenger and crew information to the country’s health authorities, such as local secretaries, who determine how to monitor these people.
THE Tab He contacted the Ministry of Health to comment on this protocol on flights diagnosed with monkeys, but did not receive a response until the report was published.
Tracking flight passengers with confirmed Monkeypox cases still raises some doubts. This is because the transmission of the virus is mainly due to contact with the wounds of infected people. Another common way is through materials that have come in contact with these wounds, such as clothing.
However, the pathogen can also be transmitted through respiratory secretions, but requires close and prolonged contact. The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control), for example, says that passing someone with the disease in a supermarket should not cause transmission, for example.
Precisely because it has a lower chance of being transmitted through the airways, the chances of transmitting it to aircraft are small. The CDC explained that “in cases where people with monkeys have traveled by plane, no known cases of monkeys have occurred in people sitting around, even on long international flights.”
However, follow-up measures are important, especially in the early stages of an ongoing outbreak, says Raquel Stucchi, an infectious disease specialist and professor at Unicamp (Campinas State University).
“I believe that the energy that is being used to investigate passengers, at the moment when the first cases appear in the country, are justified,” he says.
Stucchi says that one of the measures that can be taken in these situations is to take a questionnaire or an application in which passengers have developed the usual symptoms of the monkey’s smallpox, which are indicated daily, such as fever or blistering injuries.
Based on measures to monitor these early flights, it can be determined whether this initiative should actually be taken for other similar cases, the infectologist continues.
Clarissa Damaso, a virologist at the UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and one of the researchers in the anti-monkey working group at the university, says that an important aspect is to determine the monitoring protocols to be followed in all cases. .
“It simply came to our notice then [de transmissão] it’s low, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. That’s because you have skin-to-skin transmission, that’s the main way, and there’s also a face-to-face transmission that would be more complicated inside the plane if you don’t know the passenger next to you well, ”says Damaso.
The virologist indicates that it is possible to come into contact with the skin of an infected person on the plane, such as by shaking hands or touching the body, and then having a higher chance of infection.
However, if it is noticed that the person infected with the monkey did not develop an injury during the flight, the chance of transmission decreases. Therefore, Damaso says it is possible to have different monitoring mechanisms depending on the symptoms of the infected passenger.
In any case, one of the already known measures that can prevent the transmission of the monkey from the airways is the use of masks. The CDC recommends that infected people use the equipment in close contact with other people.
Stucchi provides a similar approach. “The use of flies prevents this respiratory transmission, which is rarely possible,” the infectologist concluded.