Cases of monkey pox (Monkeypox) not directly linked to travel to Central or West Africa or people returning from travel have been reported in Europe and around the world since the beginning of May 2022. Since that date, the he epidemic concerns a growing number of countries and the disease is the subject, in France as in Europe, of reinforced surveillance.
Update in France
As of August 16, 2022 at 12:00 p.m., 2,749 confirmed cases have been identified in France.
The distribution of cases by region of residence (or by reporting region when the region of residence is unknown) is presented in figure 1. The Ile-de-France region concentrates the largest number of cases (1,642 or 60%), followed by Occitania (244 cases) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (213 cases). Ten cases reside abroad.
For 747 cases (27%) the region of residence was not known and was replaced by the reporting region.
The distribution of cases by symptom onset date (when known) is shown in Figure 2. The case symptom onset date ranges from May 7, 2022 to August 10, 2022. reporting deadlines, the data for the last few weeks are not consolidated.
The reports received do not always mention the date of onset of the symptoms. As an alternative to this information, the distribution of cases according to their date of reporting is presented in Figure 3.
The reporting low observed in week 28 (July 11 to 17) can be explained by the public holiday (July 14).
All the cases identified to date are male adults, except 29 female adults (i.e. 1.1% of women) and 4 children under 15 years old. Adult cases have a median age of 36; 25% of adult cases are under 30 years old and 25% are 43 to 77 years old.
Of the cases for which information is available at the time of reporting, 53 (3%) are known to have been hospitalized due to Monkeypox virus infection.
In France, no deaths have been reported to date.
Figure 1. Confirmed monkeypox cases (n=2,739 cases) by region of residence (or by reporting region when region of residence is unknown), France, May-August 2022 (data as of 08/16/2022 – 12:00 p.m.)
Figure 2. Confirmed monkeypox cases (n=1,889 cases) by week of onset of symptoms, France, May-August 2022 (data as of 08/16/2022 – 12:00 p.m.).
The data for the last few weeks (in grey) are not fully consolidated.
Figure 3. Confirmed cases of monkeypox (n=2,748 cases) by reporting week, France, May-August 2022 (data as of 08/16/2022 – 12:00 p.m.).
Data for the last week (in grey) are not fully consolidated.
Characteristics of cases that may have been the subject of an investigation
Since the characteristics of confirmed cases in men have been stable for several weeks, epidemiological investigations will now focus on female, pediatric and atypical cases. Therefore, symptomatology information and case profiles will no longer be updated. The information presented below is based on the investigations carried out until 08/08/2022.
Among the cases investigated, 75% presented a genito-anal rash, 70% an eruption on another part of the body, 76% a fever and 72% lymphadenopathy. Among the cases investigated, 74 are immunocompromised (5.1% of the cases having responded); 385 are HIV positive (i.e. 25% of cases knowing their HIV status). Among non-HIV carriers, 701 are on pre-exposure prophylaxis or “PrEP”* (i.e. 64% of non-HIV carriers who answered the question).
To date, in France, 95% of cases for which sexual orientation is reported have occurred among men who have sex with men (MSM).
Among the cases for which information is available, 71% declare having had at least 2 sexual partners in the 3 weeks before the onset of symptoms.
Most of the cases questioned declare that they cannot identify the person who allegedly infected them; 24% are secondary cases, ie they report having been in contact with a case of monkeypox in the three weeks preceding the onset of symptoms.
*PrEP is an HIV preventive treatment for people who do not have HIV and are particularly at risk.
Information and prevention actions
Given what has been observed in Europe on the disease, targeted communication was quickly implemented towards MSM people. The website sexosafe.fr, dedicated to the sexuality of MSM people, is regularly updated with a summary of knowledge on the subject and prevention measures. Poster, radio and digital campaigns provide information to people in addition to actions in the field. Since June 17, the digital campaign has generated nearly 681,805 clicks on the banners and more than 576,963 visits to the Sexosafe site.
All information on vaccination is updated weekly on the page intended for the General public and that intended for health professionals (accessible without login) of the site vaccination-info-service.
Prevention actions are continuously adapted to the evolution of the situation and the state of knowledge.
To facilitate access to information for vulnerable people in precarious situations, a pictorial tool, translated into 6 languages, developed with professionals working with these people is available on Sante Publique France.
The MOBCO newsletter n°7 compiled with actors in the field brings together a series of questions/answers on the subject of Monkeypox/monkey pox. It is aimed at professionals or volunteers in contact with people in precarious situations.
In France, long-term monitoring of monkeypox through the mandatory notification system is reinforced and information and alert messages are sent to health professionals. Exchanges are also continuing with other European countries, the WHO and the ECDC.
Monkeypox info service: a listening device to answer questions about monkeypox
The “Monkeypox info service” telephone line is accessible every day from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., on the toll-free number 0 801 90 80 69 (free, anonymous and confidential call and services). This device is in charge of accompanying prevention messages and protective measures, of providing information on symptoms, treatments and vaccination, of advising and directing towards the care devices.
Since the opening of the line, 5,853 interviews were conducted on Monkeypox info service (median age: 39 years).
- 846 interviews were carried out in week 32 (versus 1,328 in week 31)
- Calls from vaccinated people who want to know the deadline to be protected after the 1D dose
- Calls from recovered people (20 callers in week 32) who want to know if they are immune and if, having contracted monkeypox, they need to be vaccinated
- Psychological and relational difficulties relate to the fear of being contaminated or of contaminating his/her partner(s) or those around him, as well as the fear of being forced to reveal his sexual orientation at work (due to the duration of the ‘sick leave)
Preventive vaccination against monkeypox
Faced with the spread of the Monkeypox virus (monkey pox), the High Authority for Health, seized by the Directorate General for Health, recommended in its opinion of July 7, 2022 that preventive vaccination be offered to the groups most exposed to the virus. .
Regarding the deployment of vaccination, 79,405 doses of 3rd generation vaccine were delivered by the Agency to the territories on 16/08/2022.
Since July 11, 2022, in addition to people who have had risky contact with a sick person, people falling within the indications retained by the HAS can make an appointment to be vaccinated throughout France:
- Men who have sex with men reporting multiple sex partners
- Trans people reporting multiple sex partners
- sex workers
- Professionals working in places of sexual consumption
Vaccination can also be considered on a case-by-case basis for health professionals who have to take care of sick people.
For more information on vaccination and access to vaccination sites: