Home General What is Monkeypox and How Do You Get it?

What is Monkeypox and How Do You Get it?

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monkeypox symptons

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare, contagious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. The monkeypox virus belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus in the family Poxviridae. There are also three other orthopoxvirus species within this family: variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in smallpox vaccination), and cowpox virus.

Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks occurred in monkey colonies kept for research, hence the name. Monkeypox was first detected in humans in 1970 during smallpox elimination efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Several other African countries have reported monkeypox, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. Infections are most prevalent in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The monkeypox has been found in people outside of Africa as a result of international travel or imported animals, including cases in the United States and Israel.

Monkeypox’s natural reservoir remains a mystery. Rodents from Africa and non-human primates (such as monkeys) may, however, harbor the virus and infect humans.

How do you get monkeypox?

The monkeypox can be spread by rodents (like rats, mice, and squirrels) in parts of west and central Africa.

Monkeypox can be caught if you’re bitten or if you touch its blood, body fluids, spots, blisters or scabs.

You might also get monkeypox by eating meat from an infected animal from central or west Africa that’s not cooked and by touching other things from infected animals (like fur or skin).

The monkeypox can also be spread by:

  • Wearing clothing, bedding, or towels used by someone with monkeypox
  • Touching monkeypox blisters or scabs (including during sex)
  • Coughs or sneezes of a monkeypox victim.

Monkeypox Signs and Symptoms 

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to smallpox but milder. Fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion are the symptoms of monkeypox. 

Symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox are similar, except monkeypox makes your lymph nodes swell (lymphadenopathy), while smallpox doesn’t. It usually takes 7-14 days for monkeypox to manifest symptoms, though it can range from 5-21 days.

The illness is characterized by:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Cold

The patient develops a rash after the appearance of fever, which usually begins on the face then spreads to other parts of the body.

Typically, lesions go through the following stages before they fall off:

  • Macules
  • Papules
  • Vesicles
  • Pustules
  • Scabs

The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks. In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease.

Monkeypox Prevention

Monkeypox can be prevented in a number of ways:

  • AVOID contact with animals who may carry the virus (including animals that are sick or found dead in monkeypox areas).
  • Don’t touch anything that has been touched by sick animals, such as bedding.
  • Isolate patients with infectious diseases from others.
  • Keep your hands clean after contact with infected people or animals. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Wear PPE(personal protective equipment) while handling monkeypox patients.

In the United States, JYNNEOSTM (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) is a live attenuated virus vaccine which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox. On November 3, 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend JYNNEOS pre-exposure prophylaxis as a substitute for ACAM2000 for certain people at risk for exposure to orthopoxviruses.

Also Read: Norovirus Symptoms,Causes,Preventive Measures and Treatment

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