Rapid cash

China prepares to cash in on monkeypox with companies developing test kits and vaccines

Chinese companies are already gearing up to cash in on monkeypox by developing test kits and vaccines, after profiting hugely from the Covid pandemic.

Several labs have started making nucleic acid test kits for the virus which is spreading globally with more than 200 confirmed cases.

China has not yet recorded any infections, but its experts believe a vaccine could be developed within a year.

Chinese companies are already gearing up to cash in on monkeypox by developing test kits and vaccines, after profiting hugely from the Covid pandemic. Pictured: researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology

At least 221 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed worldwide since the first patient fell ill in the UK on May 6

At least 221 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed worldwide since the first patient fell ill in the UK on May 6

The country’s state-run newspaper, Global Times, said: “Several Chinese test kit manufacturers contacted by the Global Times on Monday said they have developed nucleic acid test kits for monkeypox, which can be quickly put into use. mass production and domestic market once approved by government.

“Meanwhile, experts have stressed that there are no technological problems in the development of a monkeypox vaccine and that a prompt special review by China’s drug administration could help the country. to develop the vaccine in about a year.”

The pharmaceutical company Sinovac saw its sales in the first half of 2021 explode more than 160 times the previous year thanks to its Covid vaccine.

The company made sales of £9billion in the first six months of last year, up from just £50million the year before, showing the huge financial gains to be made from a pandemic.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion

So far, conspiracy theories are already spreading on Chinese social media that the US is deliberately spreading monkeypox, after its communist government was accused of leaking and covering up Covid.

At least 221 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed worldwide since the first patient fell ill in the UK on May 6, with most infections in gay and bisexual men.

The United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic and Slovenia are the latest countries to record infections.

Although not specifically designed for monkeypox, the Imvanex vaccine – made by Denmark-based Bavarian Nordic to treat smallpox – is up to 85% effective because the two viruses are so similar.

Antivirals and smallpox therapies also work for monkeypox.

Dr Romulus Breban, a researcher at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, said the current global outbreak is “waiting to happen” due to “almost zero” levels of immunity around the world.

The smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in the UK and Jynneos in the US, can protect against monkeypox because the viruses causing the disease are linked

The smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in the UK and Jynneos in the US, can protect against monkeypox because the viruses causing the disease are linked

Nineteen countries have detected cases in the past month, which has raised alarm as infections typically only occur in West and Central Africa.

Imported outbreaks have always died out naturally after a few cases.

The UK Health Security Agency is contacting high-risk contacts of confirmed cases and advising them to self-isolate for three weeks and avoid contact with children.

They are also offered the Imvanex vaccine.

This strategy, known as ring vaccination, involves pricking and monitoring anyone around an infected person to form a buffer of immunized people to limit the spread of the disease.

It has been used in previous outbreaks of monkeypox.

The disease, first discovered in laboratory monkeys in the late 1950s, is generally mild but can lead to severe illness in some cases. It can kill up to 10% of the people it infects.

The milder strain behind the current epidemic kills one in 100 people – like when Covid first hit.

Monkeypox has an incubation period of up to 21 days, which means it can take three weeks for symptoms to appear.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash may develop, often starting on the face, which then spreads to other parts of the body, including the genitals.

The rash may resemble chickenpox or syphilis, and scabs may form and then fall off.

Monkeypox outbreak may have been triggered by sex at two raves in Belgium and Spain, WHO expert warns

Sexual transmission at two festivals in Europe may have triggered the growing global epidemic of monkeypox, according to an expert from the World Health Organization.

Dr David Heymann, who headed the emergency department at the WHO, revealed that this was the main theory behind the origins of the current cluster of cases.

He said: ‘We know that monkeypox can be spread through close contact with the lesions of an infected person, and it appears that sexual contact has now amplified this transmission.

“It’s very possible that someone got infected, developed lesions on their genitals, hands or elsewhere, and then passed it on to others through close sexual or physical contact.

“And then there were these international events that sowed the epidemic all over the world, in the United States and in other European countries.”

Although they didn’t name any festivals, health chiefs tasked with containing the virus have already started tracing cases to the Gran Canarian gay pride festival – attended by up to 80,000 people between May 5 and May 15.

Meanwhile, three cases in Belgium have been linked to Darklands – a large-scale fetish festival in Antwerp, held from May 5-8. Organizers have since said there are ‘reasons to suspect’ someone at the event was infected.

Spanish health chiefs have also linked numerous cases to a single ‘sauna’ in Madrid.