The outbreak of the Monkeypox virus in Europe – with cases reported in the United States, Canada and Australia – has raised red flags around the world, while these and other countries are still fighting the Kovid epidemic. The World Health Organization said on Friday that there were 80 confirmed cases (some data suggest it has already increased to over 100) and about 50 suspected cases, which are more likely as surveillance expands. The rapid spread of the virus, which usually spread to parts of Africa, yesterday reported all first cases of France, Belgium and Germany within hours of each other, and a significant increase in caseloads in the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal. The WHO has already warned the world that the spread of cases can ‘speed up’.
Monkeypox Virus – What Is It?
Monkeypox virus is a member of the Orthopox virus genus in the Poxviridae family. Simply put, it is a viral zoonotic disease found primarily in the forests of Central and West Africa.
It originates in wild animals and then spreads to people and presents as a (usually) mild infection with symptoms that include fever, headaches and skin rashes. However, the WHO has suggested that this could lead to several medical complications. There are two major variants – the Congo strain – up to 10 percent mortality, and the West African strain – 1 percent mortality.
How is the virus spread?
The virus jumps when people come into close physical contact with an infected animal, especially a sick or dead animal. It involves contact with flesh or blood; WHO says all meat must be cooked thoroughly before eating in countries where the virus is endemic or in circulation.
Monkeypox can spread among people; If you have close physical contact with an infected person you can catch it. You can also infect items such as clothing, bedding and towels and containers / dishes contaminated with the virus through contact with an infected person.
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It is unclear whether people without symptoms can also transmit the disease.
Children are generally more prone to severe symptoms than adolescents and adults. The virus can be passed on to a fetus or a newborn through birth or early physical contact, the WHO said.
What are the features of MonkeyPox?
Monkeypox symptoms include fever, muscle pain, severe headaches, swollen lymph nodes, skin rashes or wounds, low energy and back pain. WHO describes it as ‘a self-limiting disease with symptoms for two to four weeks’. Severe cases can occur, the Global Health Organization said, with recent cases of death ratios ranging between three and six percent.
“If you think you have symptoms of a monkeypox, seek advice from your health care provider. Tell them if you have a close contact with a suspected or confirmed monkeypox,” read a statement from WHO.
Does MonkeyPox Sexually Transmitted?
Monkeypox has not previously been described as a sexually transmitted infection, although it can be transmitted by direct contact during sex, such as skin lesions. It is currently unknown whether it is transmitted by sperm or vaginal fluids. With rashes on the genitals and inside the mouth, oral sex is the way to spread the virus.
Recent highlights include the UK and US health agencies, as well as the WHO, warning of the dangers to gay and bisexual men. “… We are seeing a proliferation in men who have intercourse with men,” Ibrahima Sousa Fall, assistant general director for emergency response at WHO, said this week.
It is important to understand the risk of infection ‘not limited to sexually active people or men who have sex with men,’ says WHO, “Anyone who has close physical contact with an infectious person is at risk.”
What should you do if you have monkeypox symptoms?
People who think they have symptoms of manganese disease should contact health workers for advice, testing and medical care. The WHO stated that “if possible, avoid self-isolation and close contact with others,” and advised such people to clean their hands regularly.
What is the Treatment for Mangan’s Disease?
As mentioned earlier, symptoms usually go away on their own without any treatment.
Symptoms usually resolve without the need for treatment but it is important to keep rashes and affected areas out – leave it dry if possible, or cover it with a moist dressing to protect it, the WHO said.
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Avoid touching ulcers in mouth or eyes. Avoid products that contain cortisone if you want to wash your mouth or use eye drops. According to WHO, Vaccinia Immune Globulin (VIG) may be prescribed for severe cases.
Are there any vaccines?
An antiviral (commercialized as TECOVIRIMAT, TPOXX) developed for the treatment of smallpox has been approved for the treatment of malaria.
Other vaccines for smallpox may offer limited protection because both diseases are from the same family. People vaccinated against smallpox have little protection against monkeypox.
WHO says that since the vaccination ended in 1980, people under the age of 40-50 have been less likely to have been vaccinated against smallpox.
(With input from the World Health Organization)