Monkeypox cases in Portugal rise to 143

  • Lusa
  • 3 June 2022

All cases confirmed by the National Health Institute Dr Ricardo Jorge (INSA) are in men aged between 19 and 61, most of them under 40.

Portugal registered five more cases of Monkeypox in the last 24 hours, increasing the total number of infections in the country to 143, the health authority (DGS) announced on Friday.

All cases confirmed by the National Health Institute Dr Ricardo Jorge (INSA) are in men aged between 19 and 61, most of them under 40, the DGS said on its site, adding that identified cases remain in clinical monitoring and are stable.

“Most infections reported so far have been in Lisbon and Tagus Valley, but there are also cases in the North and Algarve regions,” the health authority said, adding that the information collected through epidemiological surveys is being analysed to contribute to the assessment of the outbreak at national and international level.

In a document published on the site about the disease, the DGS advises those who have symptoms and signs compatible with the disease, and especially if they have had close contact with someone who may be infected, to contact sexually transmitted infection screening centres, go to emergency services for counselling and evaluation or call the SNS 24 line (808 24 24 24 24).

The DGS warned that the infection can be transmitted from one person to another through close physical contact, including sexual contact. “Currently, it is not known whether the monkeypox virus can be transmitted through semen or vaginal fluids, but direct, skin-to-skin contact with lesions in sexual practices can transmit it,” it said.

The most common symptoms are fever, intense headache, muscle pain, backache, fatigue, increase in lymph nodes with the progressive appearance of rashes affecting the skin and mucous membranes.

Skin lesions usually start between one to three days after the onset of fever and can be flat or slightly elevated, with clear or yellowish liquid, and eventually ulcerate and form crusts that later dry and fall off, says the DGS.

“The number of lesions on a person can vary. They tend to appear on the face but can spread to the rest of the body and even reach the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. They can also be found in the mouth, genitals and eyes,” he informs, adding that these signs and symptoms usually last between two to four weeks and disappear without treatment.

In the guidance that defines the clinical and epidemiological approach to the disease, the DGS states that suspected cases should be quickly referred for medical observation. Asymptomatic contacts can continue to maintain their daily routines, not requiring isolation. Still, during the surveillance period, they should avoid long journeys so that “isolation can be more feasible and faster” in the event of symptoms.

In the scope of public health measures, the DGS recommends that, when faced with a suspect, probable or confirmed case, isolation should be carried out. Physical separation is maintained until the resolution of lesions (fall of crusts) and refraining from staying in the same space if living with small children, pregnant women, and immunosuppressed people.

Among other measures, sexual abstinence should be maintained, and close contact should be avoided, personal objects, clothes, bed linen, towels and household surfaces should be sanitised and disinfected, and hard surfaces should be cleaned with chlorinated detergents and left to air dry.