Public healthcare agencies across the world are on high alert after a number of countries reported multiple cases of a rare and severe viral infection called monkeypox.
According to details, the UK was the first country to confirm the first case of monkeypox earlier this month. Since then, Canada, the US, Portugal, and Spain have detected several cases of monkeypox.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 after two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research purposes. The first case of monkeypox in humans was first detected in 1970 in the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo.
The first human case emerged in DR Congo during intensified efforts to eliminate smallpox. Since then, human cases of monkeypox have been detected in central and western African countries.
Here is all you need to know about monkeypox:
The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to smallpox but they are milder. The only difference between the symptoms of these two diseases is that the former causes swelling in lymph nodes. The incubation period for monkeypox is 7 to 14 days but it can range from 5 to 21 days as well.
These are the symptoms of monkeypox:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
A person contracts monkeypox after coming into contact with the virus from an animal, another person, or materials already contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through the skin, respiratory tract, or mucous membranes.
Animal-to-human transmission occurs through bite or contact with infected meat and body fluids. Human-to-human transmission occurs through large respiratory droplets and contact with body fluids.
A number of preventive measures can be taken to avoid contracting the monkeypox virus. These include avoiding contact with sick animals and humans exhibiting its symptoms and any other materials that came in contact with them.
Infected persons should be isolated and personal protective equipment should be used when dealing with infected persons. Frequent hand washing should also be practiced after dealing with patients.
Unfortunately, there is no effective proven, and safe treatment for monkeypox. To contain monkeypox outbreaks, vaccines and treatments for smallpox have been used.