The Ministry of Health has been ready for three weeks to deal with any cases of smallpox of monkeys, the Communication Advisor of the Ministry, Konstantinos Athanassiou, told KYPE.
The protocols that have been prepared have already been applied in cases of suspicious incidents, he noted, noting that in addition to the suspicious incident that became known in Paphos, there was another suspicious incident yesterday, which in the end was not the monkeys’ smallpox.
It is right that the suspicious incidents do not see the light of day, said Mr. Athanassiou, however, for what is published, the Ministry is obliged to inform about their progress, he noted.
The only thing that is still pending, according to Mr. Athanassiou, is at European level, the joint proclamation regarding medicines and vaccines.
The vaccination committee of the Ministry has already made a recommendation, according to which, when it is available, the vaccine is recommended to be administered to the health professionals who will have to deal with confirmed cases, but also to the contacts of the cases.
This will be evaluated based on the image of the incident, he noted. If someone is going through it painlessly, there will be no reason to be vaccinated, while he noted that the percentage of people who may develop a severe clinical picture, ie reach the point where they need an antiviral drug or be vaccinated.
When the vaccines come, this recommendation is expected to be approved by the Minister, he noted.
It does not seem that there is an increased risk for smallpox in monkeys that requires a mass vaccination program, equivalent to that against the coronavirus, Mr. Athanassiou answered, when asked by KYPE.
“We are ready and we are monitoring the data,” he said, adding that if 5-6 cases are recorded at some point and the number of beds in the Referral Hospital increases, the relevant protocols are in force.
It is recalled that the Nicosia Hospital has been designated as the Reference Hospital for the smallpox of monkeys and the Makareio Hospital for children.