Health experts throughout the world are on the lookout for more cases because the disease appears to be spreading outside of Africa for the first time. They emphasise, however, that the risk to the general public is minimal.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a virus that spreads from wild animals such as rats and primates to humans on rare occasions. The disease is endemic in Central and West Africa, hence the majority of human cases have occurred there.
Scientists discovered the sickness in 1958 after two outbreaks of a “pox-like” disease in laboratory monkeys — hence the term monkeypox. In 1970, a 9-year-old child in a remote section of Congo became the first reported human infection.
Symptoms and treatment
Monkeypox is a virus that is related to smallpox but has less severe symptoms.
Fever, body pains, chills, and exhaustion are the most common symptoms. A rash and lesions on the face and hands in those with more serious illnesses can spread to other parts of the body.
The incubation phase lasts anywhere from five to three weeks. Most patients recover in two to four weeks without the need for hospitalisation.
Monkeypox is known to be more severe in youngsters and can be fatal for up to one in ten people.
People who have been exposed to the virus are frequently given one of many smallpox vaccines, which have been proved to protect against monkeypox. Antiviral medications are also in development.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC) suggested on Thursday that all suspected patients be isolated and that high-risk contacts be identified.
How it is transmitted?
Although human transmission of the monkeypox virus is rare, it can occur through close skin contact, air droplets, bodily fluids, and virus-infected objects.
The majority of recent instances of monkeypox in the United Kingdom and Canada have been recorded among males who have sex with men who attended sexual health treatments at health clinics.
Dr. I. Socé Fall, the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program’s regional emergencies director, warned about this trend:
“This is new information that we must thoroughly study in order to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of local transmission in the United Kingdom and other nations.”