On May 6, 2022, a new virus outbreak is recognized in UK namely Monkeypox. Eventually, the infection has spread to 21 countries so far. The patients are restricted to isolation and WHO is taking all the preventive measures to stop further spread. As the virus Monkeypox is raising concerns globally, everyone should be aware of the spread, characteristics and symptoms of the affected.
What is Monkeypox
Monkeypox is an infectious viral disease that occurs in certain animals including Humans. It was first identified in 1958 among the laboratory of monkeys in Denmark. But, as the name portraits, monkeys are not natural reservoirs. The first case in humans was discovered in the Republic of Congo in 1970. In 2003, an outbreak was seen in US. The 2022 outbreak was first identified in UK in May. Subsequently, many cases are confirmed in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Australia.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
The person infected with the virus will not show any specific symptoms up to 5 to 21 days after infection. The infected displays early symptoms like headache, muscle pains, fever and fatigue. These symptoms are generally misguided as common cold or normal viral fever. Later, symptoms similar to chicken pox and measles appear along with the swollen glands. Lesions and rash appear in ear and jaw, in the neck or in the groin. Characteristically, they spread on to face, palms and soles of feet.
How it infects
Monkeypox virus is a double stranded DNA virus. The virus is mainly seen in tropical rainforest regions of Central and West Africa. Mostly, the infected human cases reported were transmitted from the animals. However, the path of transmission is still unknown.
Humans might have been infected via bite or by direct contact from the infected animal. Moreover, the transmission from human to human is airborne, by contact with an infected person. Further research is being done on the strain responsible for 2022 outbreak. So far, it looks like other strains of the West Africa.
Other animals acting as reservoir
The 2003, US monkeypox outbreak was recognized in a pet shop of rodents. In addition to monkeys, the virus is also seen in rats, mice, squirrels. The use of these animals as food might also be a source of transmission.
According to the paper, “Emerging diseases- the monkeypox epidemic in the Republic of the Congo” by A.Kantele, K.Chickering, O Vapalahti, AW Rimoin, 85% cases around the world showed that vaccination against smallpox reduced risk of monkeypox. It also added that, cause of infection is probably due to increase of unvaccinated individuals. WHO indicated, self quarantining along with antiviral treatment and supportive care of fluids for nutritional balance .
Ensure awareness globally
The outbreak of monkeypox is not first time. Moreover, is similar to the previous strains seen. Treatment is available readily as it is similar to poxviruses like smallpox and chickenpox. So everyone should be aware of prevention and treatment processes and move in accordance with.