China labs cash in on monkeypox outbreak with test kits & ‘vaccine’ that could be ready in year as global cases hit 200

CHINESE labs are cashing in on the recent monkeypox outbreak by selling test kits and a ‘vaccine’ as global cases hit 200.

The country’s state-run media claimed that “several” manufacturers have already produced a nucleic acid test kit “which can be quickly into mass production” and on the shelves within weeks.

China is planning to cash in big with monkeypox tests and a vaccine


China is planning to cash in big with monkeypox tests and a vaccine
Monkeypox cases have risen to 200 since an outbreak began earlier this month


Monkeypox cases have risen to 200 since an outbreak began earlier this monthCredit: AP

Global Times, a mouthpiece for the Chinese government, also claimed scientists could develop a vaccine for monkeypox by the end of the year.

“Several Chinese test kit makers reached by the Global Times on Monday said they have developed nucleic acid test kits for monkeypox, which can be quickly put into mass production and on the domestic market once approved by the government,” the paper said.

“Meanwhile, experts pointed out that there are no technological problems in developing a vaccine against monkeypox and a rapid special review by China’s drug administration could help the country develop the vaccine in roughly a year.”

Pharmaceutical company Sinovac saw sales in the first half of 2021 explode to more than 160 times the previous year thanks to the development of a Covid vaccine.

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The firm raked in £9billion in the first six months of last year, up from just £50million in 2020, showing the huge gains that can be made during a pandemic.

Some 221 monkeypox cases have been confirmed worldwide since the first patient was registered to have the rare virus in the UK on May 6.

The United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic and Slovenia are the latest countries to register casess.

Meanwhile, the Imvanex jab developed by Danish-based Bavarian Nordic is said to be 85 percent affective against monkeypox and Covid.

Dr Romulus Breban, a researcher at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said the current global outbreak was “waiting to happen” because the world had an “almost zero” immunity level.

Nineteen countries have detected cases in the past month, which has sparked alarm because infections usually only occur in west and central Africa but has now spread to Europe and the Americas.

Before now, there had only been eight cases of monkeypox in the UK, all with links to travel from West Africa.

But that’s not the case for this outbreak, which has now seen at least 57 in the UK infected.

There is already community transmission in the UK – but the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) stresses that the risk to the public is “low”.

Many more are expected to be diagnosed in the coming weeks, experts say.

The disease appears to be disproportionately affecting gay and bisexual men.

Health chiefs have warned gay and bisexual men to be on the lookout for new unexplained rashes.

Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, however can be passed on through skin-to-skin contact during sex.

It causes flu-like symptoms before a blistering rash spreads across the body.

And Brits have been warned to be “alert” of monkeypox when they hit popular tourist spots for holiday this year.

The infectious disease typically affects populations in Africa but has now jumped to Europe and the Americas


The infectious disease typically affects populations in Africa but has now jumped to Europe and the AmericasCredit: Reuters
Symptoms of monkeypox include a red rash and lumps, fever, headache and exhaustion


Symptoms of monkeypox include a red rash and lumps, fever, headache and exhaustionCredit: Getty

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the explosion of cases is “a highly unusual event”.

The agency’s Europe director, Dr Hans Henri Kluge, warned that as summer begins across the continent, mass gatherings, festivals and parties could fuel the spread of monkeypox.

Dr Kluge said: “I am concerned that transmission could accelerate, as the cases currently being detected are among those engaging in sexual activity, and the symptoms are unfamiliar to many.”

Asked about the risk to Brits going to summer festivals or going on holiday, chief medical adviser Dr Susan Hopkins said people “need to be alert” to the virus.

Dr Hopkins, of UKHSA, told the BBC: “The risk to the general population [from monkeypox] remains extremely low.

“People need to be alert to it, and we really want clinicians to be alert to it.”

A leading adviser to the WHO said the “random” outbreak of monkeypox might be explained by risky sexual behavior at two recent mass events in Europe.

A Gay Pride festival in Gran Canaria – attended by 80,000 people – was linked with a number of cases in Madrid, Tenerife and Italy.

In Spain, which has the most monkeypox cases in Europe, infections in the Malasaña neighbourhood of Madrid were traced back to a sauna – Sauna Paraíso – which has since been closed.

A number of other communities followed reporting more cases, including Andalusia, Galicia, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Extremadura.

A German government report to lawmakers, obtained by the AP, said the risk of catching monkeypox “mainly appears to lie with sexual contacts among men”.

The four confirmed cases in Germany have been linked to exposure at party events including on Gran Canaria and in Berlin, it said. 

Meanwhile, Belgium’s three confirmed cases of monkeypox have been linked to a large-scale fetish festival in the port city of Antwerp, it was revealed on Friday. 

Dr David Heymann, who formerly headed WHOs emergencies department, said the leading theory to explain the spread of the disease was sexual transmission among gay and bisexual men at two raves held in Spain and Belgium. 

Dr Heymann told AP that it’s known monkeypox can spread when there is close contact with the lesions of someone who is infected.

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It looks like sexual contact has now amplified that transmission, Dr Heymann said.

Monkeypox typically infects people in Central and Western Africa when it jumps from a wild animal, such as rodents and primates, into humans.

Health authorities have urged people to 'be alert' this summer


Health authorities have urged people to ‘be alert’ this summerCredit: Getty


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