There are over 200 types of viruses that can spread from animal to human. These include diseases like Ebola, SARS, and influenza. Some of these viruses have been discovered recently and little is known about them.
Monkeys are one of the most abundant animals in tropical rain forests and they serve as the main reservoir for monkeypox virus. This article will tell you everything you need to know about monkeypox virus and its symptoms, transmission, treatment, and prevention methods.
What is the monkeypox ?
Monkeypox is a rodent-borne fever that is caused by a virus in the same family as the smallpox virus. Because there is no treatment available for monkeypox, people cannot protect themselves from it, and it can be deadly.
It is believed that people catch monkeypox from African rodents called guinea pigs that carry the virus, and then pass it to humans. Although the US doesn’t regularly see cases of monkeypox, it’s a serious disease that has been reported in many countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.
People who travel to areas with active cases of monkeypox could bring it back and pass it to others.
How is monkeypox transmitted?
As mentioned above, monkeypox is a viral disease caused by a poxvirus of the genus Orthopoxvirus, which can be transmitted to humans from rodents such as squirrels, rats, and mice.
- Humans are generally infected by direct contact with respiratory droplets or broken skin of infected animals like rodents and monkeys.
- Monkeypox can also be transmitted to humans from infected insectivorous bats.
- Monkeypox can also be transmitted to humans from other humans if they have been in close contact with someone who has the infection.
- Transmission can also happen if you touch something that has monkeypox virus on it and then touch your mouth, eyes, nose, or broken skin.
Signs and symptoms of Monkeypox
The symptoms usually appear between 10-14 days after being infected. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, and rash.
- The rash is the most distinguishing characteristic of the disease and occurs in about 80% of cases.
- The rash is usually on the torso and the face, but it can appear on other parts of the body as well. It starts as small bumps that look like blisters, then they grow larger and become fluid-filled sores. The rash usually lasts between 7-10 days.
- There are other symptoms of monkeypox as well :-
- Sore throat
- Fever and chills
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin
- A general feeling of tiredness – Loss of appetite
- Dry cough
- Pain when urinating
- Red eyes
- Bleeding inside the nose and gums
- Bleeding from any wound
Currently, there are no antiviral drugs for monkeypox. The antiviral drugs like Ribavirin, Amantadine and Pexidartinib are being explored in lab to check their efficacy against this specific virus. The treatment mainly involves managing the symptoms and providing nutrition to the patient.
Most people with monkeypox get better on their own after a few weeks. They can be treated with antibiotics, fluids, and other supportive care while they are sick. Some people may need to go to the hospital and be treated in isolation.
People who are very sick when they are first seen by a doctor are generally who have weaker immune systems such as people with cancer, or people who have other health issues.
- Vaccination: Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from diseases. You can protect yourself from monkey pox by getting vaccinated for it.
- Selecting appropriate clothing: You can protect yourself from diseases by wearing appropriate clothing like long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats, and shoes while travelling to tropical areas.
- Selecting appropriate housing: You can protect yourself from diseases by staying in hotels that have appropriate conditions for visitors.
- You can also wear masks while you are in tropical areas.
- Proper handling of food: You can protect yourself from diseases by handling food in a proper way. You should eat foods that are freshly prepared.
- Proper hand hygiene: You can protect yourself from disease by observing proper hand hygiene. You should wash your hands with soap and water after every visit to toilet.
- Avoiding insect bites: You can protect yourself from diseases by avoiding insect bites while travelling to tropical areas.
- Avoiding contact with animals: You can protect yourself from diseases by avoiding contact with animals while travelling to tropical areas.
- Avoiding contact with sick people: You can protect yourself from diseases by avoiding contact with sick people. Sick people are usually advised not to travel.
- Avoiding ingestion of contaminated water and food: You can protect yourself from diseases by avoiding ingestion of contaminated food and water.
- Try boosting your immunity by adding vitamin c & green tea in your lifestyle.
Monkeypox is a viral disease that is caused by a poxvirus of the genus Orthopoxvirus. It can be transmitted to humans from rodents such as squirrels, rats, and mice. Humans are generally infected by direct contact with respiratory droplets or broken skin of infected animals like rodents and monkeys. The symptoms of monkeypox usually appear between 10-14 days after being infected. It can be treated with antibiotics, fluids, and other supportive care while you are sick. The best way to protect yourself from disease is by getting vaccinated for them.
Is monkeypox a sexually transmitted disease ?
Monkeypox is not a STD. However, many misinformation about the disease is spreading. it is most commonly transmitted through skin to skin contact. Nonetheless, you must take all the precaution to avoid getting infected from this virus.
How many cases of monkeypox reported worldwide till now?
There are more than 20 thousands of cases have been reported to WHO from eighty countries. The latest addition are India and Australia.
Does monkeypox cause death?
In most cases it clears up on their own. but in some cases it can be fatal to be more precise people who are already suffering from systemic diseases i.e. HIV, Diabetes etc.
You can follow us on Instagram & twitter for regular updates.