Scientists have found a potential antiviral treatment smallpox monkeysthough they said disease remains a much less significant risk than Coronavirus covid infection.

A new study of past smallpox outbreaks in monkeys in the UK has identified a patient who had reduced symptoms after treatment with one of two antiviral drugs prescribed for smallpox.

The study is published in Infectious Diseases of the Lancet examined seven patients treated for the virus between 2018 and 202 years.

This comes after a new monkey outbreak rose to 71 confirmed in the UK and 85 cases in eight European countries.

The researchers said their study covered only a small group of samples and said more research was needed on antiviral treatments.

According to the findings, monkeypox was detected in the throat and blood samples of the patients. Five of the patients studied spent more than three weeks in isolation – up to 39 days – since they received long-term positive PCR test results.

However, the authors stated that this does not necessarily indicate an airborne landing infection on a similar level with Covid. PCR tests were used, which also did not detect infectivity.

“In our cases, it was very close contact in families where children and parents have direct contact with each other, not needed at a distance,” said Dr. David Porter, one of the authors of the report.

There are currently no licensed treatments for monkeypox in humans. The only available drugs identified in the study were Brincidafovir and Tecovirimat, which were approved in the U.S. for the treatment of smallpox in preparation for potential bioterrorism.

Three of the patients examined were treated with antiviral brincidafovir, which was ineffective, and one patient was treated with tecavirimate for two weeks, which had a shorter duration of illness. One patient had a mild relapse 6 weeks after discharge.

Between 2018 and 2019, four patients were treated for monkeypox in specialized departments in England. Three of the cases were related to West Africa, and a fourth case was found in a healthcare worker who was exposed to the virus.

In 2021, in a family traveling from Nigeria, three more cases of monkeys were reported in the study. One such case occurred in a child

The researchers noted that the cases studied between 2018 and 2021 are not “different” from what is being detected now in terms of their prevalence.

The report says: “Continuing the illness of the patients we report has been challenging and resource-intensive, even in a high-income setting in the UK. Outbreaks of monkeys will continue to occur in West and Central Africa, and health professionals around the world must be vigilant about the possibility of monkey infestation in travelers with fever and rash. Our observations in this small series support further research into antiviral drugs to treat this neglected tropical disease. ”

At a briefing held by the Science Media Center on Tuesday, researchers warned that the current outbreak of monkeypox cannot be compared to Covid.

Dr Jake Dunning, a consultant on infectious diseases and high-impact infectious diseases at the Royal Free Hospital, said: “Covid, as an emerging infection, is far more important to society than monkeypox … I think we need to be careful not to equate both, especially in terms of transmission risk and pandemic.

“In that sense, they are very different beasts. So I don’t want people to think that just because we have a Covid pandemic, every new infection will also lead to a pandemic. ”

Dr Hugh Adler, an honorary researcher at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and a specialist trainee in infectious diseases, said that, unlike Kovid, monkeypox was a “DNA virus” that did not develop quickly, so it is unlikely that the current an outbreak is a “sudden shift” in virus behavior

He added: “This is most likely an accidental event and or due to human behavior, in particular that the journey is reopening more widely. But from their previous genomic data there is no signal, but also about what we know is the biology of monkeypox, where we would not have predicted that it would change so quickly. “

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/monkeypox-antiviral-treatment-b2086206.html

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