The Ministry of Health reported today (31) that it is monitoring three suspected cases of monkeypox in Brazil. The notifications occurred in Santa Catarina, Ceará and Rio Grande do Sul. The ministry highlighted that, so far, there are no confirmed cases of the disease in the country.
In Ceará, according to the state Health Department, the suspected case is a resident of Fortaleza. According to the agency, measures of home isolation and collection of material for exams are in progress.
In Rio Grande do Sul, the Health Department started, since yesterday (30), to consider a case that had been monitored since Friday (27) as a suspect. It is about a man, from Portugal, who is traveling to Porto Alegre. He sought medical care on the 19th and again on the 23rd. The patient said he was unaware of contact with contaminated people in Portugal.
In Santa Catarina, the suspected case is a 27-year-old woman, resident of the city of Dionísio Cerqueira, in the west of the state. The patient, who had symptoms on the 24th, is awaiting the results of laboratory tests.
Monkeypox resembles human smallpox – eradicated in 1980. The disease occurs mainly in Central and West Africa. Cases usually appear in the vicinity of tropical forests where there are animals that carry the virus.
Between 2018 and 2021, seven cases of monkeypox were reported in the UK, mostly in people with a history of travel to endemic countries. But in 2022, nine cases have already been confirmed, six of them unrelated to travel, as of the 18th, according to the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA). Other countries, such as Portugal and Spain, have already confirmed cases of the disease.
Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes (tongue), chills, and exhaustion. Skin lesions first develop on the face and then spread to other parts of the body, including the genitals. The skin lesions resemble those of chickenpox until they form a crust, which then falls off.
According to the Butantan Institute, monkeypox can be transmitted by contact with droplets exhaled by an infected person (human or animal), by contact with skin lesions caused by the disease or by contaminated materials, such as clothes and sheets. The incubation period for monkeypox is usually six to 13 days, but can range from five to 21 days. Therefore, infected people need to be isolated and under observation for 21 days.