Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (the cause of smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.
It was firstly discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox.’ The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries. There was also an outbreak in 2003 whereby 47 cases was reported in United States, which was the only time monkeypox infections in humans were documented outside of Africa.
The existing outbreak in Nigeria is of West African origin and associated with milder disease, fewer deaths, and limited human-to-human transmission. Studies have shown that the monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans and, although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder.
it can be transmitted in various ways but majorly it can transmitted to humans by rodents or primates and by human-to-human transmission.
Are there rodents in your vicinity? Do you live in Nigeria or anywhere in West or Central Africa? Then you should care about monkeypox.
Here are a little more details about Monkeypox:
So how do you get it?
1. It’s infectious meaning it can come to you. The monkeypox virus is transmitted via contact with an infected animal’s blood, flesh, bite, or an infected human.
2. It’s a virus. Viral infections are generally harder to treat than bacteria’s and the monkeypox virus is a rare type.
3. It can cause fatal illnesses and quick deaths, especially in younger age groups.
4. It has NO treatment or vaccine but outbreaks can be controlled.
5. The incubation period is 5 -21 days. Symptoms typically last 14 – 21 days with severe cases occurring among children with longer virus exposure.
6. Monkeypox virus can only be diagnosed definitively in the laboratory by a number of different tests.
It manifests as various stages of rash and an intense weakness among other things. Rashes, ranging from a few to several thousands, begins on the face, then palms and feet soles. The lesions (or rashes) later become fluid-filled blisters and lastly crusts which can affect the oral membranes, genitalia, eyelids and eyeballs.
1. Cook animal flesh or blood properly before consuming. Monkeypox virus remain active in infected primates or rodent even after their death.
2. Stay away from body fluids, lesions, respiratory tract secretions, or objects recently contaminated by monkeypox patients. Transmission occurs via droplets respiratory particles.
3. Don’t pick up stray animals especially if you live in the tropics.
4. Immediately quarantine infected animals or humans. Close physical contact is a significant risk factor and protective equipment must be worn while providing care for patients.
5. Regular handwashing is encouraged.
6. If you have been in the proximity of an infected person, go for definitive testing in the laboratory.
7. Spread the awareness by forwarding this article.
8. Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.