7 important facts about the Monkeypox Virus that can protect you

So far the Monkeypox Virus had been endemic to Africa, recently there has been a surge in human Monkeypox cases in many more countries (including Europe and USA ) and this is causing concern. The world is still reeling from the SARS-Covid-2 pandemic and so there is some speculation about whether another pandemic is brewing.

1.What is Monkeypox?

 

Monkey pox is a disease that looks similar to smallpox and is caused by The Monkeypox virus belonging to the Orthopoxvirus genus of Poxviridae family.

Monkey pox Virus infection
The typical Monkeypox rash – Source 2

 

2.Where did Monkeypox Originate?

 

Smallpox was almost eradicated when the first case of Human Monkeypox was discovered in1970.Because this infection was first seen in monkeys in 1958 , it was called Monkeypox by scientists.

The first human case was that of a 9-year old child in the Equateur province of Zaire. The child had symptoms similar to smallpox. This was that was later recognized as the first case of human monkeypox by the WHO.

 

3.How does Monkeypox Virus spread?

 

The Prairie dogs are the primary hosts of the Monkey Pox virus. Further, the Prairie dogs have known to infect the small mammals like domestic pig, Gambian rats, elephant shrew, Thomas’s tree/rope squirrel, Kuhl’s tree squirrel, and sun squirrel.

 

Prairie dogs spread Monkey pox virus
A prairie dog -Source 1

Humans can catch the Monkeypox Virus by consuming the flesh of infected animals or when they come in close contact with infected animals. Incidentally, many human Monkeypox cases are also men who have sex with men, but that angle still needs more research. So far we don’t know for sure if the infection can spread through droplets (coughing, sneezing ) or fomites (infected food and clothes).

 

4.Symptoms of Monkeypox

 

Incubation Period – After exposure to the Monkeypox Virus , a person may take 5-21 days to start showing the symptoms of  the disease with 4-5days being the norm.

You may develop fever as the first sign with headache, drenching sweat, chills, fatigue, body aches, cough etc. After 2-3 days the typical rash appears. In contrast to Chicken pox and smallpox, Monkeypox shows swollen and painful lymph nodes in the neck area or groins within 2-3 days of the fever.

The rash starts usually from the face and can spread all over the body including the palms and soles. The rash starts from being red bumps to pus-filled ones and finally the scab falls off leaving small ulcers on the skin that heal slowly. Monkeypox  generally takes 2-4 weeks to complete its course.

 

5.How do we confirm a Monkeypox Virus infection?

The Monkey pox virus seen microscopically
Monkeypox virus – Image Source 2

Besides having a history of contact with an infected person, that can point to the diagnosis, Your doctor can recommend  Polymerase chain reaction (PCR ) tests from swabbing the nose and throat . The skin biopsy or fluid from the skin lesions can also confirm the diagnosis.

 

6.What are the Risks of getting Monkeypox infection?

 

In Africa, up to 1-6 % of infected people die due to complications associated with this disease, but it is probably because  of malnutrition .Luckily, In healthy individuals, the Monkeypox virus does not seem to cause any lasting damage.

 

Monkey Pox Virus infection and rash
Monkeypox is spreading worldwide -Source 3

7.How do we prevent/treat a Monkeypox Virus infection?

 

This treatment is generally symptomatic. It includes treating for fever, body ache, managing itching, avoiding dehydration and preventing infection of the ulcerated skin.

 

While not a fatal disease and certainly no cause for panic, in most cases, Monkeypox infection can be distressing. Some steps that can help in checking the spread of this infection are:

  1. Education and raising awareness about the means of transmission
  2. Simple methods of sanitization can reduce the risk of infection. For example washing hands with soap and water, avoiding contact with infected people, wearing PPE like masks etc.
  3. Early diagnosis and timely treatment can reduce possible complications
  4. Effective Vaccines against the Monkeypox Virus are available and can protect against  severe disease

 

Image Sources

1. Canva

2. The CDC | Cynthia S Goldsmith, Russell Regnery. [Public domain.]

3. Medscape

 

#HaleHeartyHealthy #Sinplypretty #HealwithHomeopathy #Monkeypoxvirus

15 comments

  1. The diseases these days are mindboggling. I didn’t know what monkeypox was but now I do with your descriptive post. We have gone thru smallpox chicken pox and now monkeypox. Is there no end to these contagious diseases?

  2. This disease is spreading abroad and I wish it doesn’t enter India. Thanks for sharing such an informative post, as even I was not aware of its cause and symptoms.

  3. It is getting scarier these days with all these new disease showing their presence. Don’t know when things will be back to normal. Never heard of Monkey pox. But it is good to know about it in detail. Preparing ourselves with information and taking precautions is the least we can do.

  4. Here in CA the number of monkey pox is increasing rapidly. Thank you so much for sharing all details dear. Indeed it will help in raising awareness and prevent infection.

  5. Monkeypox was recently in the news but I didn’t know so much about it before this. It seems to be restricted right now but one needs to be vigilant and look out for symptoms.

  6. Monkeypox is again spreading like fire and it is good that we could identify the causes. One needs to be very vigilant as we are hearing about diseases which were never heard before.

  7. It is always good to be prepared and be aware of the symptoms and causes of such dreadful disease. As you mentioned it is endemic in Africa, hope it gets declined soon in other countries too. Your post has shed light on right topic at right time.

  8. With so much virus and diseases encompassing us everyday, it becomes so tricky to keep ourselves healthy. It was good to know about Monkeypox virus and its prevention.

  9. Omg. Looks so scary. Such an informative post. So many much to know. Thanks for sharing. But now a days it is so difficult keep ourselves safe. Hopefully for viruses free world.

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