Monkeypox is an uncommon disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the group Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
If you get monkeypox, it usually takes between 5 and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear.
Early symptoms of monkeypox include:
- a high temperature
- a headache
- muscle aches
- swollen glands
- shivering (chills)
Rash generally appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms. The rash often begins on the face, and then spreads to most other parts of the body. This can also include the genitals.
The rash is sometimes confused with smallpox. The common difference between the symptoms of monkeypox and smallpox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not.
The incubation period for monkeypox is usually 5−21 days
How to Spread Monkeypox and How you get monkeypox?
Monkeypox virus can spread when a person comes into contact with the virus from an infected animal, infected person, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus can also cross the placenta from the mother to her fetus. Monkeypox virus may spread from animals to people through the bite or scratch of an infected animal, by handling wild game, or through the use of products made from infected animals. The virus may also spread through direct contact with body fluids or sores on an infected person or with materials that have touched body fluids or sores, such as clothing or linens.
Monkeypox spreads between people primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. Monkeypox can spread during intimate contact between people, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, cuddling, or touching parts of the body with monkeypox sores. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.
It is not yet known what animal maintains the virus in nature, although African rodents are suspected to play a part in monkeypox transmission to people.
How to Prevent Monkeypox Infection?
1. Try to avoid contact with animals that could harbour the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).
2. Try to avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick animal.
3. Strictly Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
4. Maintain good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
5: Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.
Treatment for monkeypox
Right now there is no specific treatment approved for monkeypox virus infections. However, antivirals developed for use in patients with smallpox may prove beneficial.
Monkeypox is usually mild and most people recover within a few weeks without treatment. But as the infection can spread through close contact, it’s important to isolate if you’re diagnosed with it.You may be asked to isolate at home if your symptoms are mild.
If your symptoms are severe or you’re at higher risk of getting seriously ill (for example, if you have a weakened immune system), you may need to stay in a specialist hospital until you recover. You may be offered a vaccination to reduce the risk of getting seriously ill.