What you need to know about Monkey pox

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus which was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research,

The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in people in several other central and western African countries, including Nigeria.

Monkeypox cases in people have occurred outside of Africa linked to international travel or imported animals, including cases in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The natural reservoir of monkeypox remains unknown. However, African rodents and monkeys are thought to harbor the virus and infect people.

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SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

In humans, the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. Unlike smallpox, monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy). The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days.

Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.
Lesions progress through different stages before falling off:

The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks. In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease.

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MODES OF TRANSMISSION

Monkeypox virus can spread when a person comes into contact with the virus from an infected animal, infected person, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus can also cross the placenta from the mother to her fetus. Monkeypox virus may spread from animals to people through the bite or scratch of an infected animal, by handling wild game, or through the use of products made from infected animals.

The virus may also spread through direct contact with body fluids or sores on an infected person or with materials that have touched body fluids or sores, such as clothing or linens.

Monkeypox spreads between people primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. Monkeypox can spread during intimate contact between people, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, cuddling, or touching parts of the body with monkeypox sores. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.
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PREVENTION

Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).

Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick animal.

Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.

Practise good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.
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TREATMENT

Currently there is no specific treatment approved for monkeypox virus infections. However, antivirals developed for use in patients with smallpox may prove beneficial

Reference: CDC.

©Doctor KT

2022

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