CEPI director outlines disease differences

Medical staff use a thermometer to detect monkeypox virus on passengers arriving at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang near Jakarta, Indonesia on May 15, 2019.

Jepayona Delita | Publishing Future | beautiful pictures

The head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives told CNBC on Thursday, but the virus does not represent the same kind of global threat as Covid-19.

His comments come as international health authorities investigate the atypical spread of monkeypox, a rare viral disease usually confined to remote areas of Central and West Africa. .

CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett told CNBC “Squawk Box Europe” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland: “This is the first time we have gathered in Davos since the 2020 meeting, and we are. find themselves facing another dangerous epidemic threat.

“We should understand what that means, that the world is starting to move again and infectious disease is starting to move with us,” Hatchett said.

“This is a worrying epidemic. Monkeypox is a very different disease from Covid,” he continued. “It doesn’t spread by respiratory droplets in the same way, so it’s not the kind of global threat that many of us immediately recognize as Covid presents. But it does demonstrate the danger. chance of infectious diseases present in the modern world.”

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus, part of the same family as smallpox. though usually less severe. It was first detected in captive monkeys in 1958 and the first human case was reported in 1970.

Early symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, swelling, and back pain. Patients usually develop a rash one to three days after the onset of fever, which usually begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body, such as the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Smallpox cases in monkeys can sometimes be more severe, with some deaths being reported in West Africa. However, health authorities emphasize that we are not at risk of a serious outbreak and that the risk to the public remains very low.

The World Health Organization says the virus can be contained with an appropriate response in countries outside of Africa, where it often goes undetected.

The US, Australia and Germany have confirmed their first cases of monkeypox in recent days.

As of Wednesday, a total of 118 cases of monkeypox have been reported report across 12 countries in the European Union and the European Economic Area, according to the European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the UK, seven more cases of monkeypox are detect in the UK on Wednesday, with one case identified in Scotland. It means the total number of cases identified in the UK is now 78.

Meanwhile, the UN describe The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest international challenge since World War II. To date, more than 527 million cases have been reported globally, with more than 6.28 million deaths.

‘We have the tools we need’

When asked about CEPI’s shared “When we talk about 100 days, that’s 100 days from the time it was decided to start developing a vaccine to when the vaccine is available for use,” Hatchett said.

“That means we have to invest significantly in pre-epidemic preparedness if we can do it that quickly.”

“I think monkeypox is a perfect illustration of the value of that strategy because we actually have a vaccine against smallpox developed to fight a disease that doesn’t even exist,” Hatchett said. exist that we know are effective against smallpox in monkeys.

He added: “And we have antiviral agents developed to protect against smallpox that work against smallpox in monkeys. So we have the tools we need during the epidemic. outbreak”.

– Karen Gilchrist of CNBC contributed to this report.

According to CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.

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