First Case of Monkeypox in Sofia

Society » HEALTH | June 17, 2024, Monday // 16:21
Bulgaria: First Case of Monkeypox in Sofia

A confirmed case of monkeypox has been reported in Sofia, as indicated by data from the Metropolitan Regional Health Inspectorate for the period of June 10-16, 2024. According to the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCDPD), this is the first case registered in Bulgaria this year, with the infected individual being a Bulgarian citizen who has not traveled abroad and has not reported recent sexual contacts. The Ministry of Health's press service informed BTA that the patient has self-isolated and is under the care of an infectious disease specialist.

Monkeypox cases were previously reported in Europe in 2022, including countries like Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The National Health Commission suggests that the spread was likely associated with sexual transmission among men who have sex with men, though household transmission is also possible. Indiscriminate sexual contact is considered a high-risk factor for the virus's transmission.

In Bulgaria, four cases of monkeypox were confirmed in June and July 2022. Initially, two male patients had traveled abroad to Spain and the UK, while another case involved contact with one of the earlier patients. The fourth case involved a man returning from Italy.

Monkeypox is caused by an Orthopoxvirus belonging to the Poxviridae family and is primarily found in Central and West African countries. Since 2022, cases have been reported in non-endemic countries without travel history to endemic regions.

In 2022, the Ministry of Health advised individuals with symptoms of monkeypox to seek medical assistance, particularly from an infectious disease specialist. Patients suspected of having monkeypox should be isolated at home or in a medical facility as necessary.

Typically, the incubation period for monkeypox ranges from 6 to 13 days, though it can vary. Symptoms often begin with fever, muscle pain, fatigue, and headache, followed by a rash starting at the site of infection and spreading to other parts of the body, including the palms and soles. Rash progression occurs within approximately 12 days, accompanied by lymph node swelling.

It is recommended that individuals with suspected or confirmed monkeypox isolate themselves in a separate room and use separate personal items until the rash has healed. Transmission of the virus occurs through close contact with infected skin lesions or respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face interactions. The virus can also survive on shared items like bedding and clothing.

Currently, there is no approved vaccine against monkeypox in the European Union (EU), though the smallpox vaccine has shown effectiveness. The National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases emphasizes that the infection is not highly contagious but underscores the importance of precautionary measures and medical vigilance in managing cases.

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Tags: sofia, monkeypox, Bulgaria

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