• Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease with symptoms similar to smallpox, although with less clinical severity.
  • The infection was first discovered in 1958 following two outbreaks of a pox-like disease in colonies of monkeys kept for research — which led to the name ‘monkeypox’.
    • The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • CauseMonkeypox virus.
    • While the natural reservoir of monkeypox remains unknown, African rodents and monkeys are suspected of transmission and infection.
  • Occurrence- According to the WHO, cases occur close to tropical rainforests inhabited by animals that carry the virus.
  • According to the WHO, two distinct clades are identified
    • the West African clade
    • the Congo Basin clade (the Central African clade
  • Symptoms:
    • Infected people break out in a rash that looks a lot like chicken pox. But the fever, malaise, and headache from Monkeypox are usually more severe than in chickenpox infection.
    • In the early stage of the disease, Monkeypox can be distinguished from smallpox because the lymph gland gets enlarged.
    • The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.
    • Onset stage– Within a day to 3 days of the onset of fever, the patient develops a rash that begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body.
    • Skin eruption stage– It can last between 2 and 4 weeks, during which the lesions harden, fill up with clear fluid and then pus, and then develop scabs or crusts.
  • Transmission:
    • Primary infection is through direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of an infected animal. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is also a risk factor.
    • Human-to-human transmission can result from close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions of an infected person, or objects recently contaminated by patient fluids or lesion materials.
    • Transmission can also occur by inoculation or via the placenta (congenital monkeypox).
  • Vulnerability:
    • It spreads rapidly and can cause one out of ten deaths if infected.
    • The proportion of patients who die has varied between 0 and 11% in documented cases and has been higher among young children.
  • Treatment and Vaccine:
    • There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for Monkeypox infection, But the European Union has recommended a Small Pox Vaccine, Imvanex to treat monkeypox after the WHO declared monkeypox a global health emergency.
monkeypox
How does Monkeypox different from smallpox?
  • The monkeypox virus is an orthopoxvirus, which is a genus of viruses that also includes the variola virus, which causes smallpox, and the vaccinia virus, which was used in the smallpox vaccine.
  • Monkeypox causes symptoms similar to smallpox, although they are less severe.
  • Also, the symptoms of both diseases vary.
  • While vaccination eradicated smallpox worldwide in 1980, monkeypox continues to occur in countries in Central and West Africa and has on occasion shown up elsewhere.
What can be done?
  • There are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent infection with the monkeypox virus.
    • Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus.
    • Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have been in contact with a sick animal.
    • Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
    • Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans.
    • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

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