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25/Jul/2022

All about Monkey Pox

What is monkeypox?

  • Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonotic disease caused by a monkeypox virus i.e. it can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa.
  • It can also be transmitted from one human to another.
  • The first case of monkeypox was found in a person who visited Nigeria reported on April 9 2022 by the UK Health security Agency. Since then the cases have been on a rise.
  • The origin of the infection might spread through the borders of West Africa and North America.

What causes Monkeypox?

  • The Monkey pox is caused by an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family
  • It is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Among humans, it is transmitted through blood fluids, sexual contact, or material contaminated with the virus.

Where is the Monkeypox found?

Monkeypox was first identified in 1958 among laboratory monkeys in Copenhagen, Denmark.

It is typically found in Central and Western African countries.

The first case of monkeypox was identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. Since then frequent cases were reported in African countries.

The first outbreak of this disease that happened outside Africa was reported in the US in 2003.

The cases were linked to infected dogs imported from Ghana.

The first case of monkeypox in the South-East Asia Region has been reported from India, in a 35-year-old man who arrived from the Middle East.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox. But monkeypox symptoms are typically milder.

             

There is an incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) for this virus and its ranges from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.

The symptoms appear at the end of the incubation period.

The first 5 days are known as Invasion Period, some people have mild symptoms like

  • fever
  • headache
  • back pain
  • swelling lymph nodes
  • muscle pain
  • lack of energy.

Some cases may develop more serious symptoms like skin eruption on the face, hands, and feet usually beginning within 1 – 3 days of the fever; they need care in a medical facility.

What are the Prevention Steps?

  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with infected people
  • Avoid close contact with the infected animals (especially sick or dead animals) or other materials they have touched.
  • Thoroughly cook all the foods that contain meat.
  • Do not touch, kiss, hug, or share utensils or touch the clothes or bedding with a person with a monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often or use an alcohol-based rub.

How is Monkeypox Virus treated?

There is no specific treatment for the monkeypox virus. However, it is self-limiting, which means it can get better without treatment.

Some medications can be used to control an outbreak and prevent the disease from spreading, they are

  • Vaccinia vaccine(smallpox vaccine)
  • Vaccinia immune globulin(VIG)
  • Antiviral medication (in animals)

In 2019 a vaccine was approved to prevent both smallpox and monkeypox. But it’s still not widely available to the public.

Pandemic preparedness, prevention, and also by maintaining a healthy environment is the only hope to protect and ensure the safety of human health.


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