Monkey pox: why is the detection of contact cases so difficult for health authorities?

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In a report published on Friday, the British health authorities say they are currently experiencing real difficulties in identifying contact cases who have been infected with monkeypox. In France, 91 cases have been detected so far.

The World Health Organization had warned: “The risk that the monkeypox virus will establish itself in non-endemic countries is real”, affirmed last week the director general of the agency, who invited the various countries in which cases contamination with monkeypox had been detected to set up a monitoring system over time.

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Yes, but here it is: this tracing work promises to be particularly complex for the health authorities. The proof with our neighbors across the Channel. The United Kingdom’s public health security agency (UKHSA) says it is having great difficulty in its search for contact cases. The reason ? “Most of the confirmed cases have reported having had sexual contact with new or occasional partners”, explain the British health authorities this Friday, June 10. The UKHSA also claims that infected people do not necessarily know the contact details of their sexual partner(s). The public agency will thus invite sexual health services, sauna-type establishments, and dating applications to collaborate with the authorities.

A difficult identification

In England, 320 people have been infected with monkeypox. Only three women are affected. In addition, 152 infected people claim to have had sex with men. In France, 91 cases of infections have been identified. “To date, as in other European countries, these cases have occurred mainly, but not exclusively, in men who have sex with men (MSM), not directly related to people returning from endemic areas, explains Santé Publique France. The majority of cases report multiple sexual partners. Most of the cases investigated declare that they cannot identify the person who allegedly infected them.”

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In France, these cases are widely identified in Ile-de-France: 64 monkeypox infections have been detected there. Occitania is the second region most affected by the virus: 10 people have been infected.

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