Monkeypox is a very rare disease that is not usually seen in people like common rashes. Monkeypox is brought about by disease with the monkeypox infection. The monkeypox virus is a part of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family of Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus includes the same virus that causes smallpox (chickenpox). But, Monkeypox is not at all related to Chickenpox.
Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two pox-like diseases started to spread in the colonies of monkeys (kept for research). Although it is named ‘monkeypox’ the actual cause of the disease is still unknown but animals like African rodents or monkeys may harbour the virus and infect people.
The first human instance of monkeypox was found in 1970. Since then, cases of monkeypox have been seen in several central and western African countries. These cases were directly linked to international travel to countries where this disease commonly occurred, or through imported animals.
Signs and Symptoms:
Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but monkeypox symptoms are milder than the symptoms of smallpox.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
• Swollen lymph nodes
• Muscle aches and backache
• Rashes that look like pimples or blisters appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
The rash travels through different stages before being completely healed. This healing process can take a few weeks.
Sometimes, people first get a rash, then followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
How does It Spread?
There are several ways in which a disease like a monkeypox can spread. The monkeypox infection can spread starting with one individual and then onto the next by:
• Direct contact with infectious rashes, blisters, or fluids.
• It can also spread through respiratory secretions through prolonged, face-to-face contact with the infected person.
• By touching the materials that previously came in contact with the infectious rash or blister.
• The virus can spread from the pregnant woman to her fetus through the placenta.
You can adopt some preventive measures to avoid infection from the Monkeypox virus:
• Do not come in direct contact with animals that could harbour the virus including animals that are sick or found dead in the area where monkeypox is active.
• Keep the infected people in quarantine, away from the other people that could catch the disease.
• Practice hygiene after coming in contact with infected animals or patients, like washing your hands with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
• Use Personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for the patients.
How Can We Treat Monkeypox?
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox out there. Monkeypox and Smallpox are genetically similar. So, the antiviral drugs and vaccines that were developed for the treatment of smallpox can also be used for protection against Monkeypox.
Tecovirimat, an antiviral drug, might be suggested for people who are likely to get severely ill because of having a weakened immune system.
If you see symptoms of monkeypox in yourself, you should immediately contact your doctor even if you don’t think you came in contact with an infected person.