The Health Department of Rio de Janeiro (SES-RJ) confirmed Monday the second death of a patient infected with monkeypox in the state as a result of the disease. The victim is a 31-year-old man, a resident of Mesquita, who had been hospitalized for more than a month in the capital of Rio de Janeiro.
The patient was admitted to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) on August 31 and, two days later, was transferred to the São Sebastião State Institute of Infectious Diseases, where he had been since then.
According to SES-RJ, the man had low immunity and comorbidities that worsened the disease. He was treated with the experimental drug tecovirimat, which resulted in partial improvement of the lesions, but on Saturday, October 1, he suffered respiratory arrest and died.
Between people, transmission occurs through direct contact, such as kissing or hugging, or through infectious wounds, crusts or body fluids, in addition to respiratory secretions. The most characteristic symptom is the formation of painful rashes and nodules on the skin. In addition to these injuries, fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, and weakness may occur.
According to SES-RJ, 1,064 cases have already been confirmed in the state and 507 are considered probable or suspected. According to a bulletin released on Friday, September 30 by the Ministry of Health, the country has 7,869 confirmed cases and 4,905 suspected cases.
Until now, there were only two deaths recorded: one in Minas Gerais and one in Rio de Janeiro. Worldwide, more than 61,000 cases and 23 deaths have been reported. In July, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern.
Although the lethality rate is low and the body’s own defenses are usually able to fight and eliminate the virus, there is a risk of aggravation, especially for immunosuppressed people with HIV/AIDS, transplant recipients, people with autoimmune diseases, pregnant women, lactating women, children with under 8 years of age and patients with leukemia, lymphoma or metastasis. As a prevention, the affected person should be isolated until all wounds have healed. It is also recommended to avoid contact with any material that has been used by the infected.
Vaccines for monkeypox are effective to combat the outbreak of smallpox in monkeys, but there is, for the time being, no provision for a mass immunization campaign, given the need to produce doses on a global scale. As recommended by the WHO, priority should be given to health professionals and laboratory researchers. In August, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) gave approval to the importation of the immunizing agent by Brazil.