Quiroga rules out smallpox emergency and says: 'Don't go out to kill monkeys'

Quiroga rules out smallpox emergency and says: ‘Don’t go out to kill monkeys’

Health Minister Marcelo Quiroga said that for now, there is no need to declare a public health emergency in Brazil due to monkeypox. He urged people not to “go to kill the monkeys” because that “would not solve the problem” of the disease.

The minister’s decision not to define an emergency contradicts a request by KUNAs (National Council of Health Ministers) which last week suggested the ministry recognize the public health emergency caused by the virus, citing the progression of the disease as a cause for concern.

Quiroga said during a press conference last night that he had not yet received any technical opinion that could support declaring a state of emergency at the national level, but said there is a possibility to define a regional emergency. The minister referred to the state of São Paulo in which the largest number of cases of the disease is concentrated so far, but the Minister of Health in it, Jan Gornstein, has not yet asked the portfolio to talk about this alternative.

“ESPEN (Public Health Emergency) has criteria for recognizing it. The USA and Australia were the only ones that recognized it. So far I have not received a technical request from the region to consider whether or not an order is to be made. To Espin, I asked him: Suppose I realized today, what Who will change?”

“Our surveillance has been enhanced during the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 virus. At the moment, there are no requirements for Espin, not least because most cases are in the state of São Paulo, and there is even a possibility of a public health emergency of regional importance, but the Minister of Health [do estado ainda] I didn’t even talk about it. So when there [necessidade] The minister is here.”

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) decreed a maximum alert for this new global health crisis, given the disease’s expansion. The decision was a message to governments to step up monitoring measures and countries such as the United States and Australia followed suit.

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, Brazil has 2,747 confirmed cases of the disease. Sao Paulo focused 1919 positive diagnoses.

Minister asks don’t kill monkeys

At the press conference, Marcelo Quiroga also appealed to people not to kill monkeys as this is not the solution to fighting the virus. According to the minister, monkeypox (international term) is a zoonoses, an infectious disease transmitted between animals and humans, which probably originates from the prairie dog, a type of rodent mammal.

Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease, and it is likely that the source of this animal disease is ferrets, prairie dogs, and not the monkey, who is a victim of the disease like the rest of us. So don’t go kill monkeys thinking this will solve the monkeypox problem.

The Rio Preto Zoo, in the interior of Sao Paulo, reported that at least eight primates were victims of aggression in the city and lit a warning sign that the animals could be mistreated due to the virus. Of the eight infected animals, five were found dead, and three were rescued with signs of poisoning.


Marcelo Quiroga reported that Brazil should receive 50,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, but stressed that there was still no prediction of when the immune system would arrive in the country. At this first moment, the doses will be applied to professionals who “deal directly with contaminated materials”, as there is still no “indication of the need for mass vaccination”.

“50,000 vaccines will be sent to Brazil, which will be intended for a very specific audience. If at some point there is a need for mass vaccination, to get a vaccine on a large scale, there must be other industrial areas that have the capacity to produce these vaccines,” he noted.

Quiroga noted that 50,000 doses of the immunizing agent will be obtained through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which represents the Brazilian Ministry of Health on the American continent.

Regarding the higher incidence of cases among MSM, Quiroga reinforced the need to combat social stigmas, and stated that mistakes of the past should not be repeated when blaming certain groups, as happened in the 1990s. 1980 with the HIV epidemic.

Another point: these references [sobre maior incidência de casos entre homens que fazem sexo com homens] It’s just an epidemiological finding, we can’t make mistakes of the past. Not to discriminate against people, [mas]Yes, to protect them,” he wondered.

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