Home Health Monkeypox, Italian tourist is the first to be infected in Cuba. The ministry: “Serious, life threatening”

Monkeypox, Italian tourist is the first to be infected in Cuba. The ministry: “Serious, life threatening”

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Monkeypox, Italian tourist is the first to be infected in Cuba. The ministry: “Serious, life threatening”

There is a first case of monkeypox in Cuba and is a tourist Italian. The announced the Ministry of Public Health of the island, stating that it is in “critical condition” and suffered cardiac arrest. “The first case of monkeypox has been detected in the country. It is a male patient, of Italian nationality, arrived in Cuba as a tourist on August 15th “, reads a ministerial statement on Saturday evening. The information, which did not contain the patient’s name, said that during his time on the island he had stayed in a rented house and visited several locations of the western provinces of the country. He adds that on August 17 he presented general symptoms and on August 18 he went to the health services. At that moment the conditions of him required “an urgent transfer for an hospitalization and intensive treatmentarriving at the hospital with a cardiac arrest, from which he recovered ».

The Ministry of Health added in its note that the physical examination of this person has “identified” skin lesions that have clinically suspected a case of monkeypox; Samples were taken and sent to the National Reference Laboratory of the Pedro Kour Institute of Tropical Medicine, where the infection was confirmed by real-time PCR in the early hours of the 20th.

The report – which did not provide details on the identification of the Italian tourist – indicated that the patient “is in critical condition, life threatening” and that “possible associated causes are being studied that may have influenced its severity “. “The epidemiological investigation is being conducted in depth and actions are being taken to control the outbreak, in accordance with the protocol approved to deal with this disease” in Cuba, the statement added.

Vaccination tourism

In the weeks preceding the arrival in Lombardy of the first batch of vaccines against monkeypox «There was a lot of anticipation in Milan. Since the first immunization campaigns in Europe began – some countries started a few weeks earlier than us – we have been inundated with phone calls, emails, social messages from our users and people who wanted information. The days before the ‘click day’ to book the first doses were a delusion ». Daniele Calzavara, from Milan Check Point, a space dedicated to sexual health, where you can do tests for HIV and other infections or undertake a PrEP path, i.e. pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, tells the story at beraking latest news Salute. , a pharmacological intervention put in place preventively to avoid contagion in people at high risk. «There were about a hundred calls a day – he remembers – And in fact the first 2 thousand doses received by our Region have already been booked. The vaccinations are now underway. Surely the quantities to date are insufficient. They are global, and in Italy especially if we look at neighboring countries such as France and the UK ». And it is precisely in France and the UK that several Italians flew to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Cross-border “vaccination tourism” has cities such as Paris, Nice, or London as its destination, and the countries that have fewer doses available as a starting point in general. Not only the tricolor Peninsula. As reported for example by the ‘New York Times’, there are differences: Spain, although it was one of the centers of the epidemic in Europe, until last week had had access to only about 5 thousand vaccinations. France, with less than half of the confirmed cases, had already vaccinated 27,000 people. “It happened – confirms Calzavara – that some people, including Italians, went to have the vaccination in London or in some French ‘drop-ins’ where it is offered freely”. In these situations, the anti-monkeypox vaccination was also carried out in some rooms or in a gazebo, thus opening up to everyone.

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“Where, on the other hand, the number of doses is much lower, there is no such possibility. For example in Germany, where a large quantity of doses is now expected, you can only put yourself on a waiting list if you have access to the German health system, in Spain only if you have a Spanish health card, a bit like us. »Explains Calzavara. «It must be remembered however – he warns – that 14 days must pass from the second dose to have complete coverage. After the first dose there is a coverage of about 30%. I underline this thinking of many phone calls received before the ‘click day’ »of the reservations. «There were those who told us: I have to get the vaccine because then I’m going on vacation. Here, we hope that everything goes well, but it is not certain that with a dose of vaccine we cannot acquire the infection ». Calzavara’s is an invitation to caution. The Milano Check Point is among the realities that in early August were involved by the Region as members of the task force «on Monkeypox. The pool of experts has met »so far once to find guidelines and modalities for vaccination. In Lombardy, apart from about twenty doses for the laboratory staff that treats orthopoxvirus and therefore Monkeypox and the remaining over 1,900 it was possible to book them. They were meant to gay men, trans people or bisexual men who have sex with men and that they fall within one of the additional risk cases declared by the ministerial circular, that is having multiple partners; go to places where you have sex such as clubs, cruising, saunas; have had recent episodes of group sex; have had a sexually transmitted infection in the past year, or still have ‘chem sex’»lists Calzavara.

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“We definitely expected such a massive response” to the vaccine offer, he admits. “There was expectation. And the ‘no-vaxes’ among our users are residual cases. If I think of who does the Prep – we currently follow about 750 people – at the beginning of the path the vaccination plan for hepatitis A, B or for HPv is drawn up, if these vaccinations have not been made. Adhesion is very high, over 90%. Let’s say that the 2,000 doses of anti-Monkeypox vaccine that have arrived are practically symbolic at this stage, given the demand that exists, and in fact they have all been booked ». «The next doses should come from the collective purchase made» by the European authority Hera «for all EU states, of which Italy will receive a share. Delivery should be between late August and early September ». Meanwhile in Lombardy “the task force’s decision was to use the entire first tranche received as first doses, without setting aside the second ones, to vaccinate 2 thousand people instead of a thousand. And almost all the centers have made an appointment at 1 and a half months for the second dose. With the second arrival, I believe there will be vaccines for about 1,500-2 thousand people, unfortunately I don’t think more », continues Calzavara. Vaccinations at the moment “are insufficient,” she repeats. But, «despite this, it must be said that the Ministry of Health has been quite active, the Regions have also moved quickly and quite well. Given the epidemiological data, I believe it was correct to allocate the few doses to the people most at risk, precisely to try to contain the infection and try to reduce the contagion curve. I understand it is scary to hear about so-called categories – he observes referring to the criticisms of the language used in the circulars, advanced by activists who fear a step backwards, a return to the 80s – but here we are talking about men having sex with men, but with additional risk behaviors. The work being done is in line with other European and North American countries where vaccination is offered to the same people with the same risk ».

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