Morocco implements a surveillance plan

Definition, symptoms, diagnosis, management and follow-up of suspected, probable or confirmed cases of monkeypox. These are points contained in the National Monkeypox Surveillance and Response Plan. The spread of the disease is starting to worry scientists as it passed through Europe and has been identified in the United States, Canada, Australia, Israel and even the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Generally described as a mild and self-limiting disease, monkeypox requires treatment that is not widely available, the health ministry says, as does the vaccine.

Any suspected or probable case of monkeypox should be immediately declared to the health authority responsible for public and private health infrastructure. The latter, as a matter of urgency, coordinates verification of the case definition with the regional public health service and conducts epidemiological investigations as soon as the case is classified as a probable case. For each case, an investigation form is completed and sent to the National Center for Public Health Emergency Operations (CNOUSP). The health ministry is planning the same under the National Monkeypox Surveillance and Response Plan. The details of the scheme were communicated to all components of the health ecosystem, whether public or private, on May 20.

The measure by the health ministry comes as the world continues to record new cases of the disease.

By “suspected cases”, notes from the ministry any person presenting with a skin rash, vesicular or vesiculo-pustular with fever >38°C. Possible cases could be one of the following:

  • Being in contact with a confirmed case in the 21 days preceding the onset of symptoms in any suspected case;
  • Any suspected case, in the 21 days preceding the onset of symptoms, in a country where the disease is endemic or a chain of transmission has been recorded since early May 2022 (currently countries in Central Africa and West, Europe) and northern America);
  • Any suspected case of the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet, or with the presence of lymphadenopathy.
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A confirmed case is therefore defined as a probable case in which infection with monkeypox virus has been confirmed by molecular techniques in the laboratory.

A detailed description of case management is also given in the document of the ministry. Thus, with an inquiry and a comprehensive clinical examination to potentially reclassify as a suspected case anyone presenting clinical signs consistent with a suspected case Medical consultation should be of benefit. Anyone with clinical signs consistent with a suspected case, even if not classified as probable or even if a strong suspicion of varicella or other rash fever is maintained, with strict adherence to hygiene measures, two Must be self-isolating at home for weeks. Symptomatic treatment should be prescribed by the attending physician and, if hospitalization is indicated, it should be carried out in isolation in a dedicated room.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), monkeypox is usually a mild and self-limiting illness, with most patients recovering within weeks. The Ministry of Health also indicates in its document that treatment is possible thanks to an antiviral agent called TECOVIRIMAT, but which is not yet widely available.

Vaccination against smallpox has been shown by several observational studies to be about 85% effective, notes the ministry. Currently, the original smallpox vaccine (1st generation) is no longer available to the general public. However, in 2019 a new vaccine based on modified attenuated vaccinia virus (Ankara strain) was approved for the prevention of monkeypox. It is a two-dose vaccine with limited availability.

View details of the National Monkeypox Surveillance and Response Plan

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