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Virologist, Ferenc Jakab, said it is too early to speculate on whether or not Hungary will need monkeypox vaccinations. The National Public Health Center (NNK) is not fully cognizant of any monkeypox cases in the country as of yet. In the meantime, virologist Ern Duda thinks that “just because one individual is infected in Vienna doesn’t quite mean we can contact it on the bus the next day.”

Is there cause for concern?

Ern Duda, a virologist, informed that just because one individual is infected in Vienna doesn’t quite mean we can contact it on the bus the next day.”

There had already been numerous incidents reported all over Europe; Duda was making reference to this case in Vienna because it was the nearest to Hungary as of now.

Miklós Rusvai, a virologist, also spoke with InfoStart about monkeypox. He stated that

I am confident that the virus will spread to Hungary as it is already disseminating in Africa; it was just a question of time before it circulates to other regions of the globe.”

He also stated that “there will be infrequent incidents, as well as family and community clusters.” Now that the limitations placed by Covid have been lifted, tourism has resumed, allowing the spread of the monkeypox virus outside of Africa. The virus was just waiting for the right moment.”

Rusvai believes the strain of the virus that is present in Europe has a one to three percent mortality rate. However, some monkeypox virus variants, such as the Congo variant, can lead to up to 10% morbidity.

“It’s a fairly dangerous virus,” he explained.

Vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

Vaccine for monkeypox is not readily available at the moment, but the smallpox vaccine, which is still required for people born before 1979 in Hungary, may protect against it as well.

“So far the smallpox vaccination was properly done and everybody got the vaccine, people were not infected, and now there is no use to fear illness or infection for those who got the smallpox vaccine,” Rusvai said. People born before 1979 are therefore safe.” Rusvai added that the monkeypox virus is not likely to result in another pandemic, and thankfully, the [smallpox] vaccine is readily accessible; it simply needs to be taken from strategic storage facilities, and prevention can be guaranteed from then on.

Ferenc Jakab, another virologist, told that

We can’t say how many of these vaccines are currently available, how many are in stock, whether they’ll ever be used, and whether we’ll have to initiate this type of vaccination campaign at this point because it’s too early.” We also inquired about the vaccines with the National Public Health Center. They responded by saying – Current evidence does not support widespread vaccination. So far, no incidents of monkeypox have been confirmed in Hungary. ”

In addition, they stated that identifying the virus “needs special laboratory proficiency, which Hungary already has.”

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