Virologist Gábor Kemenesi shared his views on monkeypox and the coronavirus. Wearing a mask is no longer mandatory in Hungary, except in health care institutions. Coronavirus concentrations in urban wastewater are also getting lower. But are we really over the coronavirus pandemic? Or is it going to be replaced by the monkeypox? Gábor Kemenesi, Junior Prima Prize-winning Hungarian biologist, virus researcher and adjunct professor at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Pécs, answered the questions.
The current coronavirus situation in Hungary
In Hungary, 6,410,946 people are vaccinated, out of which 6,197,968 received the second vaccination and 3,881,399 took the third jab. However, only 302,559 people received the fourth vaccination. According to Gábor Kemenesei, it is very important to increase the uptake of the third vaccination. The virologist said that
currently, the Omicron variant is the predominant strain.
In this period, proper herd immunity is of paramount importance, wmn.hu writes. According to Kemenesi, the fourth vaccination is recommended for people over 60 years of age, especially those over 80, as well as for members of vulnerable groups.
In Hungary, vaccination coverage is estimated to be 60-65 percent. According to Kemenesi, this is considered low and the citizens are in a vulnerable position. The virologist believes that
it is possible that we could see an upsurge this summer.
The question is whether the spike in cases will be followed by an increase in the number of intensive care unit admissions and a rise in the number of deaths.
Approaching monkeypox outbreak?
Rodents mainly carry this virus. Human illness is caused by contact with infected animals or animal products. It can also spread from human to human through close body contact. However, virologists have collected decades of data regarding monkeypox which gives them a huge advantage.
Prevention does not require mask-wearing since the virus does not spread through respiration droplets of infected people.
The virus can be easily detected by collecting a smear from the rash. The good news is that the vaccine against smallpox is also effective against monkeypox, hvg.hu reports. Kemenesi said that several virus families were being monitored, which could cause epidemics of varying degrees.