Virtual Care & Services

Heard of Monkeypox? Here are 5 things You Should Know About it.

DayToDay Team
December 15, 2021

Recently, an individual traveling from Nigeria to the United States were diagnosed with Monkeypox. As scientists from the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health work together to investigate the case, WHO and CDC request healthcare providers and people to stay vigilant. The Monkeypox virus has re-emerged in Nigeria since 2017, after 40 years. Since then, over 215 cases of the disease have been recorded worldwide.

Let’s understand a bit more about the disease. Here are five things you should know about the Monkeypox virus.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease with its origin in West and Central Africa. According to CDC, it comes under the same genus of viruses as the variola virus, which causes smallpox. The infection lasts for two to four weeks, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

Two primary strains of Monkeypox are the Congo Basin and West African. The West African strain is known to have caused lesser fatalities, with most deaths happening in people who have also had other underlying diseases or disorders. The mortality rate of the disease is high in individuals who have not had the smallpox vaccine.

What are the common Monkeypox symptoms?

According to WHO, the incubation period for the Monkeypox virus is anywhere from five to thirteen days after exposure. It can also be from five to twenty-one days. Monkeypox symptoms include -

Fever with headaches

Lymphadenopathy or swelling of the lymph nodes

Muscle pain and body ache

Intense asthenia or lethargy

Skin eruptions and rashes on the face and extremities

Severe cases of Monkeypox are more among children and individuals with co-morbidities. The severity of the symptoms also depends on the extent of exposure, the nature of complications, and the patient’s existing health condition.

Who can get exposed to Monkeypox?

One can get Monkeypox when they are scratched or bitten by an infected animal or by coming in contact with the body fluids of an infected animal. Usually, the monkeypox virus is seen in small rodents, small mammals, monkeys, and some wild animals.

Monkeypox can spread from one human to another through respiratory droplets, body fluids, sores, or contact with infected surfaces or objects. Individuals living near forests may have low-expose or indirect exposure to the virus, possibly causing an asymptomatic infection.

How does one know they have Monkeypox?

Apart from the clinical symptoms, a detailed medical and travel history, as well as some diagnostic tests, can help give a definitive diagnosis. Doctors perform PCR blood tests, and biopsies of rashes or pustules, or dry crusts. Serology and antigen detection methods are not used for Monkeypox diagnosis.

Is there any Monkeypox treatment available?

At the moment, there is no definitive treatment for Monkeypox. According to WHO, the Smallpox vaccine, through many observational tests, is almost 85% effective against the monkeypox virus. According to the CDC, clinical trials are on to assess if the Jynneos smallpox vaccine can help protect healthcare workers from monkeypox. Vaccination for the disease is not yet widely available in the public sector.

This article is created by Team DayToDay Health.

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