UK deploys smallpox vaccines as cases spread in Europe

UK deploys smallpox vaccines as cases spread in Europe

The of the United Kingdom has offered smallpox vaccines as a remedy for monkeypox

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said there isn’t a specific vaccine for monkeypox. It, however, noted that smallpox vaccine has proven to be 80 per cent effective against monkeypox, Reuters reports.

The report added that some infected people who required vaccination have been offered the smallpox vaccine, without giving a specific figure of the number of beneficiaries.

According to Reuters, a drugmaker Bavarian Nordic (BAVA.CO) on Thursday said it had secured a contract with an undisclosed European country to supply its smallpox vaccine, Imvanex, in response to the monkeypox outbreak.

Monkeypox cases<

On May 7, 2022, the UK detected its first monkeypox infection in an unidentified individual who returned to England from Nigeria.

As of Friday morning, the confirmed infections in the UK doubled to 20, while Portugal and Spain already logged 14 and seven cases respectively.

The United States and Sweden have also reported one case each. Italian authorities also have confirmed one case, and suspect two more.

Although, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday explained that the viral infection seems to have been locally acquired in the United Kingdom, an indication that the first case was not imported from Nigeria.

In 2022, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 15 cases, but insisted that the figure “does not constitute an outbreak.”

Clades of monkeypox<

The WHO also explained that there are two clades of monkeypox virus: the West African clade and the Congo Basin (Central African) clade.

The West African clade of monkeypox virus infection sometimes leads to severe illness in some individuals, as the disease is usually self-limiting with documented case fatality ratio to be around one per cent.

The Congo Basin clade, on the other hand, may be as high as 10 per cent, as children are also at higher risk, and monkeypox during pregnancy may lead to complications, congenital monkeypox, or stillbirth.


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