Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It is a viral zoonotic disease, it can spread from animals to humans. It can also spread between people.
History of Monkeypox
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 .The disease is called monkeypox because it was first identified in colonies of monkeys kept for research. 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.
Monkeypox is commonly found in central and west Africa where there are tropical rainforests and where animals that may carry the virus typically live. People with monkeypox are occasionally identified in other countries outside of central and west Africa.
How to Spread Monkeypox
Monkeypox can spread to people when they come into physical contact with an infected animal. Animal hosts include rodents and primates. The risk of catching monkeypox from animals can be reduced by avoiding unprotected contact with wild animals, especially those that are sick or dead (including their meat and blood). Reported cases thus far have no established travel links to anendemic area.
Based on currently available information, cases have mainly but not exclusively been identified amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) seeking care in primary care and sexual health clinics
What are the Symptoms of Monkeypox
Symptoms of monkeypox typically include a fever, intense headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash or lesions. The rash usually begins within one to three days of the start of a fever. Lesions can be flat or slightly raised, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, and can then crust, dry up and fall off. The number of lesions on one person can range from a few to several thousand. The rash tends to be concentrated on the face, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. They can also be found on the mouth, genitals and eyes.
The incubation period of monkeypox can range from 5 to 21 days. The febrile stage of illness usually lasts 1 to 3 days with symptoms including fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph nodes), back pain, myalgia (muscle ache), and an intense asthenia (lack of energy). The febrile stage is followed by the skin eruption stage, lasting for 2 to 4 weeks. Lesions evolve from macules (lesions with a flat base) to papules (raised firm painful lesions) to vesicles (filled with clear fluid) to pustules (filled with pus), followed by scabs or crusts.
Symptoms typically last between 2 to 4 weeks and go away on their own without treatment. If you think you have symptoms that could be monkeypox, seek advice from your health care provider. Let them know if you have had close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed monkeypox.
Prevention and control of human monkeypox rely on raising awareness in communities and educating health workers to prevent infection and stop transmission.
Most human monkeypox infections result from a primary animal-to-human transmission. Contact with sick or dead animals should be avoided, and all foods containing animal meat or parts need to be properly cooked before eating. In endemic countries where animals carry monkeypox, any foods containing animal meat or parts should be cooked thoroughly before eating.
Close contact with infected people or contaminated materials should be avoided. Gloves and other personal protective clothing and equipment should be worn while taking care of the sick, whether in a health facility or in the home.
Treatment of monkeypox patients is supportive dependent on the symptoms. Various compounds that may be effective against monkeypox virus infection are being developed and tested.
Monkeypox symptoms often resolve on their own without the need for treatment. It is important to take care of the rash by letting it dry if possible or covering with a moist dressing to protect the area if needed. Avoid touching any sores in the mouth or eyes. Mouth rinses and eye drops can be used as long as cortisone-containing products are avoided. Vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) may be recommended for severe cases. An antiviral that was developed to treat smallpox (tecovirimat, commercialized as TPOXX) was also approved for the treatment of monkeypox.