Monkey pox: “Epidemic outbreak”, underestimated figures … Karine Lacombe confides her concern

About fifty cases of monkey pox have been confirmed in France by the health authorities. But for infectious disease professor Karine Lacombe, this figure is underestimated.

Should we be worried about the presence of monkeypox in France? “Rather” yes, for Karine Lacombe, head of the infectiology department at Saint-Antoine hospital in Paris who has worked in particular on Covid and HIV and who confides that the disease still has “many unknowns”, in The Parisian.

The number of cases of monkey pox continues to increase in France, 51 were recorded in France on Friday evening June 3, including “22 traveled abroad before the onset of their symptoms” and “some in several different countries”, indicated Public Health France.

Understated numbers?

If we are to believe Karine Lacombe, yes. It also reminds our colleagues of the Parisian that the possibilities of treatment are quite low against this monkeypox insofar as the production of the vaccine against smallpox has not been on the agenda since 1980.

Currently, there is no treatment

Only an antiviral, preventive medication or taken as early treatment, is currently available. Still in the development phase, it only exists in small quantities, she recalls.

The disease in the midst of an “epidemic outbreak”

If the increase in cases has so far had very little visible impact on the hospital system, the infectious disease specialist calls for caution: “The parallel epidemic of chickenpox can also create confusion and under-diagnosis” , without forgetting that, if they do not necessarily go to the hospital, “many patients consult their doctor for fever or a rash”.

The only treatment is prevention

The problem too, she explains in Le Parisien, is that with an increase in the number of cases, severe forms will appear quickly. However, “the pharmaceutical industry only invests when it is profitable for it. Economically, it holds, but in terms of public health, the calculation is bad,” she laments. His other concern relates to the “prevention” vaccination of this smallpox. Open for the moment only to “contacts of patients whose diagnosis has been confirmed”, she does not know if this will be enough.

The specialist is already putting on the table thepossibility of more extensive vaccination. “Will this so-called ring vaccination be enough to curb the epidemic? Should we go further by also vaccinating contacts of contacts? The question will arise,” she says.

Regarding the profile of people infected with Monkeypox, the infectiologist indicates that it is mainly young people who are affected for the moment. For her, the elderly “have protection by the smallpox vaccine”. There are also many men; gold “the first cases emerged in men having sex with other men”, recalls the infectiologist. But Karine Lacombe warns: “no one is sparedwomen, heterosexuals, children.”

Where is the epidemic in non-endemic countries?

  • Great Britain – 207 cases
  • Spain – 156 cases
  • Portugal – 138 cases
  • Canada – 58 cases
  • Germany – 57 cases
  • France – 51 cases
  • Argentina – 1 case
  • Australia – 1 case
  • Morocco – 1 case
  • United Arab Emirates – 1 case

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