The drafting of a counter measure plan to deal with a possible outbreak of monkeypox in Cyprus is in its final stages, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Thursday.
Citing sources from the health ministry, the news agency added that the vaccination committee will meet on Friday to discuss whether certain population groups require vaccination against the monkeypox.
Health officials held a teleconference on Thursday, a follow-up from Tuesday’s meeting, during which they discussed the procedures and protocols that will be implemented should a monkeypox case be detected in Cyprus.
Discussions also covered the ways patients will be admitted and transported to hospitals, treatment as well as management at the level of the epidemiological unit.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has issued guidelines advising quick identification (such as tests), management, contact tracing, and reporting of monkeypox (MPX) positives.
“Countries should update their contact tracing mechanisms, their diagnostic capacity… and review the availability of smallpox vaccines, antivirals and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health professionals,” the ECDC said in its latest MPX risk assessment.
The ECDC stated that MPX does not spread easily between people, adding that: “The predominance, in the current outbreak, of diagnosed human cases among men having sex with men (MSM), and the nature of the presenting lesions in some cases, suggest transmission occurred during sexual intercourse.”
It said that most cases have had mild symptoms, but it may cause more severe disease in those such as young children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised persons.
“Close contacts of MPX cases should self-monitor for the development of symptoms up to 21 days from the last exposure to a case,” EU agency said.