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Health & Fit Monkeypox: Doctors May Struggle With Incomplete Treatment Guidance, Study Suggests

04:51  17 august  2022
04:51  17 august  2022 Source:   forbes.com

How monkeypox transmits from person to person, and how to prevent infection

  How monkeypox transmits from person to person, and how to prevent infection The monkeypox virus spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, including exhaled droplets and pus from boils.But at least a dozen cases have been detected across Europe and in North America this month, leaving experts scrambling to investigate the spread.

Topline

A lack of high quality and comprehensive information on how to treat and care for monkeypox may be hindering clinicians’ ability to respond to the current global outbreak, according to a new study published in British Medical Journal Global Health, which found existing guidelines are contradictory and lack key information.

A pharmacist fills syringes with the monkeypox vaccine. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images © Provided by Forbes A pharmacist fills syringes with the monkeypox vaccine. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Key Facts

In a search of six major databases, researchers identified 14 relevant clinical management guidelines—a tool used by front-line physicians to respond to outbreaks—on monkeypox treatment and care, but most were of low quality, according to a framework used to evaluate health guidance.

It Isn't Exactly Easy to Tell If You Have Monkeypox, According to Doctors

  It Isn't Exactly Easy to Tell If You Have Monkeypox, According to Doctors A rash is the most common symptom you hear about, but that’s not the whole story. What does monkeypox do to your body? According to the CDC, symptoms include: Fever Headaches Muscle aches and backaches Swollen lymph nodes Chills Exhaustion Sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough A pimple- or blister-like rash on or around the genitals, a***, hands, feet, chest, face or mouth that may be itchy or painful. The rash will go through stages, including scabbing and eventually healing. “Early symptoms are usually similar to the common cold,” says Paulette Grey Riveria, M.D., M.P.H.

Most guidelines were missing critical information for several groups at risk of becoming infected: Only five gave advice for children and only three offered guidance for pregnant women or people living with HIV.

Information on monkeypox treatments were particularly inconsistent, researchers found, with none offering details on best dosage, timing and length of treatment.

This lack of robust guidance may create “uncertainty” for clinicians treating monkeypox, especially those with no previous experience, and may negatively impact patient care, researchers wrote in the study.

Big Number

11,890. That’s how many cases of monkeypox and orthopoxvirus, the class of viruses monkeypox belongs to, the U.S. has confirmed across every state except Wyoming since the current global outbreak of the disease began in early May, according to Centers for Disease Control. Some 36,214 cases have been confirmed in 85 countries that have not historically reported monkeypox outbreaks.

Biden Administration Declares Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency - What to Know

  Biden Administration Declares Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency - What to Know On Thursday, the Biden Administration declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency. © Getty / ROGER HARRIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Biden Administration Declares Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency - What to Know In a statement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said, "Ending the monkeypox outbreak is a critical priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. We are taking our response to the next level by declaring a public health emergency," said Secretary Becerra.

Key Background

Monkeypox is a virus spread through close contact that can result in painful lesions, chills, fever, headaches and other symptoms. The virus is endemic to certain regions of Africa, where outbreaks—smaller in scope than the current one—have been largely ignored. This has in part led to a lack of comprehensive data on real-world use of monkeypox vaccines and treatments. Some recent research also suggests the current global outbreak of monkeypox may cause symptoms that differ from previous outbreaks, which doctors have warned could result in cases going undetected. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any treatments specifically for monkeypox, though certain antivirals, such as Tpoxx, which are used for smallpox, a virus genetically similar to monkeypox, may be recommended for treatment, according to the CDC. Still, these treatments are incredibly hard to access. The Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency earlier this month in an attempt to streamline the United States’ response and speed up vaccine distribution. The FDA also issued an emergency use authorization last week allowing the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine—the only shot approved specifically by the FDA to protect against monkeypox—to be given in smaller doses by intradermal injection, which will effectively quintuple the number of doses available in the national stockpile.

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  Walgreens Is Under Fire for 'Highly Suspicious' Selling of These Meds, Lawsuit Says Walgreens has been hit with a major lawsuit from the state of Tennessee over concerns with its distribution of opioids.

Tangent

The U.S. government has faced backlash for a sluggish rollout of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine as cases have climbed in several states, including New York and California. The New York Times reported this week the vaccine rollout continues to be hampered by the federal government’s use of a new government agency under the Department of Health and Human Services to distribute the shots, instead of a previously established one. That decision has resulted in difficulty tracking and receiving shipments of the vaccine, including deliveries to the wrong locations and improper storage of the shots, local health officials told the Times.

Further Reading

New Monkeypox Dosing Strategy Could Help Stretch Scarce Supplies—But Poses New Challenges For Vaccine Rollout (Forbes)

White House Declares Public Health Emergency For Monkeypox Amid Vaccination Struggles (Forbes)

First U.S. Monkeypox Death Confirmed in Los Angeles—Here's How the Disease Can Be Fatal .
The vast majority of people recover from monkeypox. But for some people, the virus can be life-threatening. © Provided by Health kontekbrothers/Getty The death of a Los Angeles county resident marks the first confirmed monkeypox fatality in the U.S., L.A. public health officials said in a statement Monday. A death in the Houston area in late August may have also been a result of monkeypox, though Texas public health officials have not yet confirmed the cause in that case. Death from monkeypox is quite rare—now several months into the outbreak, nearly 22,000 people in the U.S.

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This is interesting!