Have you heard about monkeypox? Isn’t it alarming after two and half years of COVID? But monkeypox isn’t the same as the corona. It spreads differently from COVID but monkeypox is also an infectious disease. Everyone needs to get educated and should be aware of monkeypox.
For the first time, monkeypox was marked and confirmed in an individual with a travel history to Nigeria in May 2022. From then onwards, cases were reported and increased in Europe, South Africa and India was the 10th country.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease that showcases similar symptoms to smallpox but is different from it. It’s a disease transmission to humans from infected animals. It was first reported in monkeys in 1958 and was thus called monkeypox. Despite its name, monkeypox is no longer spread by monkeys.
This disease is thought to be spread by small rodents like squirrels but research is being conducted on the same.
Pathogen of monkeypox
Monkeypox virus is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the genus Orthopox and family Poxviridae.
Monkeypox virus is divided into 2types that are Central African and West African. In comparison to the West African monkey virus, the Central African monkey virus is much more dangerous. It causes severe illness and death.
What are the monkeypox symptoms?
Monkeypox symptoms start appearing within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, chills, exhaustion, headache, swollen lymph nodes, headache, backache, pain in muscles, sore throat, or cough.
People infected with monkeypox experience rashes that may be present on or near the genitals. The rashes can also appear near the anus or on areas like the hands, neck, feet, or chest.
How to differentiate between monkeypox and chicken pox?
Both monkeypox and smallpox belong to the same family. But large lymph nodes in monkeypox differentiate it from smallpox.
For monkeypox confirmation, a PCR test is done which requires a sample of skin lesion.
How monkeypox is transmitted?
Transmission of the virus from animal to human can occur by direct contact with blood, body fluids, and skin lesions from the infected animals. Eating half-cooked meat or use of other animal products can also the cause infection of monkeypox in humans. The reservoir of monkeypox is mainly rodents.
On the other hand, you can get the disease from an infected human too. It is a droplet infection. This transmission can occur because of close contact with body fluids or the respiratory secretion of infected humans. Skin lesions or contaminated objects can also infect you.
Monkeypox infection can also pass on from mother to baby via the placenta or because of close contact with the infected mother after birth. Having physical contact with someone infected can also put you at risk of having smallpox.
Is there any vaccination for monkeypox?
Through various studies, it has been concluded that the smallpox vaccine can prevent you from having monkeypox by 85%. Thus prior smallpox vaccination may result in mild illness.
Prevention of monkeypox
You can prevent yourself from monkeypox in several ways.
- Avoid having physical contact with a person with symptoms or skin rash like monkeypox.
- Isolate the patient and his belongings including towels, bedsheets, utensils, and many more.
- Wash your hands more often or use sanitizer.
- Get yourself vaccinated.
- Avoid any type of contact with rodents or animals that can infect you with the monkeypox virus.
What’s the treatment for monkeypox?
If you notice any symptoms related to monkeypox, then it’s better to take advice from a doctor. Do not take medicines on your own.
Till now, there is no specific treatment for monkeypox. However, many medicines which are used to treat smallpox are being used in monkeypox. The drugs being used to treat monkeypox are antiviral drugs. Also, Food and Drug Administration has approved to use of an antiviral drug named tecomirivat (TPOXX) to treat smallpox in both children and adults. This drug can be used to treat monkeypox as well.
Still, research is being conducted to get specified medicine or vaccine particularly to treat monkeypox.
Are there any complications of monkeypox?
Yes, monkeypox may lead to complications that can include –
- Severe scars on the face or any other part of the body.
- You may be prone to many other infections
- In rare cases, death can also occur.
Don’t panic, monkeypox is not a deathly disease but it is a highly contagious disease. You can prevent yourself from monkeypox and if you see any symptoms then immediately visit a doctor.