Monkeypox (orthopoxvirus / poxviridae) is related to smallpox. The usual epidemic foci are located in Africa, with transmission by contact with infected animals, or by human-to-human transmission by contact, droplet, sexual, or maternal-fetal routes. In May 2022, cases without any notion of travel or contact with travelers from high-risk countries were identified, making it essential for front-line caregivers to be vigilant.
Since 13 May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported to WHO from 12 Member States that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, across three WHO regions. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing, however, reported cases thus far have no established travel links to endemic areas.
What are the symptoms?
Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus. It is a member of the same virus family as smallpox, but it’s less serious and doctors say the odds of contracting the disease are very low.
It is found in the most remote regions of west and central African countries, in close proximity to tropical rainforests.
There are two major strains of the virus: the west African as well as central African.
Two of the patients who are infected from the UK traveled from Nigeria It is probable that they are suffering with West African strain. West African strain, which is typically relatively mild.
Another instance involved a healthcare employee who caught this virus in one of the patients.
The most recent cases don’t have established links to each other or any evidence of travel. It is believed that they were able to catch this virus in the UK after it spread through the community.
The UK Health Security Agency advises anyone who is concerned about the possibility of contracting a disease should consult a doctor and make contact with the hospital or clinic ahead of any visit.
On May 18, Scott Pauley, press officer at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), told Medical News Today:
“The U.K. notified the U.S. of 8 people in the U.S. who might have been seated near the U.K. traveler when they flew from Nigeria to London [on May 3-4, 2022]. Of these, one is no longer in the U.S., and one was not a contact. The remaining six are being monitored by their respective state health departments. None of these six travel contacts have monkeypox symptoms and their risk of infection is very low.”
How can the virus be catched ?
Monkeypox can be contracted when a person is in close contact with an affected person.
The virus can infiltrate the body via broken skin or through the respiratory tract. It can also enter through the nose, eyes or mouth.
It was not previously identified in the past as being a sexually transmissible disease However, it could be transferred through intimate contact during sexual the course of sexual contact.
It could also be transmitted through contact with animals infected like rats, monkeys and squirrels, or through items that are contaminated with viruses, like clothes and bedding.
What is the risk?
The majority of cases are not severe, and can resemble chickenpox. They will clear by themselves within several weeks.
Monkeypox may be more severe, , it has been known to cause deaths in West Africa.
At present, there is no known, safe treatment for the monkeypox virus. In order to control an outbreak of monkeypox within the United States, smallpox vaccine antivirals, vaccines against vaccinia immuneglobulin (VIG) can be utilized. Find out more on littlepox vaccine and antivirals, as well as VIG treatment options.
Symptoms of monkeypox
If you get infected with monkeypox, it usually takes between 5 and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear.
The first symptoms of monkeypox include:
- a high temperature
- a headache
- muscle aches
- swollen glands
- shivering (chills)
A rash usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms. The rash often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body.
The rash is sometimes confused with chickenpox. It starts as raised spots, which turn into small blisters filled with fluid. These blisters eventually form scabs which later fall off.
The symptoms usually clear up in 2 to 4 weeks.