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Monkeypox: All what you need to know

Monkeypox has become a major cause of concern as a recent diagnosis of the disease in the United States has been traced to Nigeria.

A report showed that the U.S. health authorities recently diagnosed a resident who had spent some time in Nigeria of monkeypox, stating that it is the first reported case of monkeypox in the U.S.

In this piece, are the causes, symptoms, and other things you should know about monkeypox.

Overview of monkeypox

Monkeypox is a virus-causing disease that bears the same symptoms as smallpox, though less severe.

As a viral zoonosis, the virus is transmitted from animals to humans and is quite predominant in African countries, according to the World Health Organisation.

Origin

In 1958, monkeypox was first discovered when two outbreaks of a ‘pox-like’ disease occurred in areas where monkeys were kept for research. This discovery brought about the name ‘monkeypox’.

In humans, however, the monkeypox was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970 (then known as Zaire).

The first victim was a 9-year-old-boy in a part of the country where smallpox had been eradicated two years before.

Ever since, cases have been reported from the rural areas of the Congo Basin spanning to other African countries like Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan.

Nigeria experienced a massive outbreak in 2017, after the last confirmed case occurred earlier in 1977.

Symptoms

Typically, symptoms of the monkeypox include rash, fever, swollen lymph nodes, intense headache, back pain, lack of energy, and muscle aches, especially at the initial period of 0-5 days.

An eruption may begin to occur within the first 3 days of the symptoms.

“The rash tends to be more concentrated on the face and extremities rather than on the trunk. It affects the face (in 95% of cases), and palms of the hands and soles of the feet (in 75% of cases). Also affected are oral mucous membranes (in 70% of cases), genitalia (30%), and conjunctivae (20%), as well as the cornea,” WHO revealed.

Mode of Transmission

The most common mode of transmission is usually from rodents and primate to humans, though there can also be transmission from human to human.

Transmission from one person to another is usually by contacts with body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.

Prevention and treatment

There are no specific treatments for monkeypox. However, Vaccinia vaccine, which was used for the eradication of smallpox can be used to prevent the virus.

There is an upgraded vaccinia vaccine that has been formulated to prevent smallpox and monkeypox.

Culled from Punch

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