What is Monkeypox? Check Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment and History of the Monkeypox

What is Monkeypox? Monkeypox is a very rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It has recently infected a person who has a travel history to Nigeria. Let’s check Monkeypox symptoms, transmission, prevention, and treatment.

An individual in England who has a travel history to Nigeria has been diagnosed with the monkeypox virus.

The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed the case of a rare viral infection which is similar to smallpox.

The patient is undergoing treatment at Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust in London.

What is Monkeypox?

According to US CDC, it is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.

It belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus that includes the variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.

While the host of the Monkey virus is still unknown, African rodents and monkeys are suspected of transmission and infection.

What are the Symptoms of Monkeypox?

Monkeypox has similar but less severe symptoms to that of smallpox.

The illness starts with fever, headache, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.

The incubation period is between 1 to 3 days after fever. The patient will develop rashes, starting on the face and then spreading to other body parts.

The lesions progress through macules, papules, vesicles, pustules, and scabs before they fall off. The disease lasts for 2-4 weeks.

Transmission Of Monkeypox

As Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease, it has the potential for animal to human transmission.

It enters the body through broken skin, respiratory tract, eye, nose or mouth.

Animal to human transmission of the disease may occur through a bite, scratch, and direct or indirect contact with lesion material.

Human to human transmission of the disease is limited but occurs through respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with lesion material.

What is the prevention of Monkeypox?

Below are some preventive measures:

  1. Avoid contact with animals that may transmit the virus.
  2. Avoid direct or indirect contact with sick animals.
  3. Isolate infected patients.
  4. Practise good hand hygiene.

What is the treatment for Monkeypox?

As of now, there is no treatment available for the disease. However, smallpox vaccines, antivirals and VIG are used to prevent the outbreak.

History Of Monkeypox Virus

First Case

In 1958, two pox-like outbreaks occurred in the colonies where monkeys were kept for the research, hence the name.

First Human case

At a time when the world intensified its efforts to eradicate smallpox in 1970, the first human case of the monkeypox virus was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Since then, it has been reported in several central and western African countries. Outside Africa, the cases are linked to either international travel or imported animals in US, UK, Singapore and Israel.

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