Monkeypox is a public health emergency.  Here's what you need to know about the virus

Monkeypox is a public health emergency. Here’s what you need to know about the virus


1997 photo provided by the CDC of a patient with monkeypox lesions. The World Health Organization declared the virus a public health emergency of global concern on Saturday.

Palestinian Authority


Hide caption

Caption switch

Palestinian Authority


1997 photo provided by the CDC of a patient with monkeypox lesions. The World Health Organization declared the virus a public health emergency of global concern on Saturday.

Palestinian Authority

The World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, but it is not a disease of which the general public was already aware.

As of Saturday, the virus has been detected in more than 70 countries, 68 of which have not reported cases of monkeypox. In the United States, confirmed cases have appeared in all but six states: Alaska, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Vermont and Wyoming, according to the CDC.

For more than a decade, members of the scientific community have been concerned about the potential for a monkeypox epidemic.

With nearly 16,000 cases reported worldwide and the number increasing, here’s what you need to know about monkeypox, how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you have it.

What exactly is monkeypox?

Besides referring to wildlife, the only similarity between monkeypox and chickenpox is that they are both a virus. Instead, the monkeypox is It is similar to smallpox, which was eradicated through global vaccination efforts in 1980.

The two viruses are from the orthopoxvirus family. Monkeypox is not as contagious or fatal as smallpox. However, some researchers are concerned that monkeypox could mutate and become a greater threat to humans.

One study published in 2008 warned that if monkeypox were introduced into an unvaccinated population, the virus could take advantage of the situation and become a pandemic.

“Although smallpox has been eradicated from humans since 1980, there is potential for monkeypox to fill this void,” the study says. “An extended chain of human-to-human transmission of monkeypox in 2003 in the Republic of the Congo reveals the potential for further adaptation of the virus to become one of the most successful human pathogens.”

Before the 2022 outbreak, nearly all cases of monkeypox found outside Africa – where some rodents and non-human primates potentially carry the virus – were linked to international travel and imported animals.

The reason it is called monkeypox is because it was first discovered in monkey colonies used for research in 1958. But that does not mean that it originated with animals such as The source of the disease remains unknown, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Within the United States, the only The outbreak was in 2003, when 47 confirmed and probable cases were detected in six states. The CDC said at the time that this outbreak was related to pet prairie dogs that came into contact with infected rodents located nearby, including several types of squirrels, mice and rats.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox:

  • Fever
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • lack of energy

There may also be a rash that looks like The CDC says pimples and pus-filled blisters. It can develop all over the human body, including the face, feet, hands, genitals, and inside the mouth.

It is important to note that doctors see a mild rash in some patients. NPR reports that some individuals have had only one lesion that can be confused with symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes or syphilis.

“I think that’s actually super critical,” infectious disease doctor Donald Finn of McGill University told NPR last month. “Because you can see how these patients can be missed. But they are still contagious and may spread disease.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the rash usually lasts two to four weeks and that some individuals develop it before other symptoms appear, while others may only experience it. Skin rash.

How deadly is monkeypox?

The good news is that the worldwide version of monkeypox – the kind that spreads in West Africa – is not particularly fatal. According to the CDC, more than 99% of patients can expect to survive.

However, the infection can be fatal to children under the age of eight, individuals with compromised immune systems and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The most common result after an injury is scarring from the rash. But more serious complications can arise, according to research on monkeypox in humans published in 2009, including pulmonary distress and bronchopneumonia. The virus can also lead to eye infections and corneal scarring, which in serious cases can lead to permanent vision loss.

How does the virus spread?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the risk of monkeypox in the United States is “thought to be low.” But anyone in close contact with someone who carries the disease is at risk of infection.

The current outbreak is spreading from human to human contact. You can get infected from respiratory droplets by spending a lot of time face to face With monkeypox vector, the World Health Organization warns.

The virus also spreads through physical contact, including touching the pest, as well as the exchange of certain body fluids such as saliva. An individual can become infected by touching items and surfaces shared with a person showing symptoms.

How do I protect myself?


Crowded places where people are fully clothed carry a relatively low risk of developing monkeypox. But your chances increase in crowded nightclubs and ravings, where more skin may appear on some, because the virus is mainly spread through skin-to-skin contact.

Evgeniy Maloletka / AP


Hide caption

Caption switch

Evgeniy Maloletka / AP


Crowded places where people are fully clothed carry a relatively low risk of developing monkeypox. But your chances increase in crowded nightclubs and ravings, where more skin may appear on some, because the virus is mainly spread through skin-to-skin contact.

Evgeniy Maloletka / AP

shred The virus can spread through skin-to-skin contact, and the CDC advises people to use caution in situations where one cannot maintain some sense of personal space and bumping into others is impractical. In places where clothing is in short supply and you can experience this contact, such as crowded parties and clubs, the risks increase.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends containing potentially contaminated items such as bedding, clothing, and towels until you have time to do the laundry. Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water while cleaning all the cleaning materials and dispose of them when you’re done.

Another way to keep you and your loved ones safe is to stay updated on the spread of the virus in your area. You can do this by checking out the CDC map, which tracks monkeypox cases by state, as well as state and local Department of Health alerts.

Monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, but the CDC says researchers are still trying to find out if the virus can be found in semen, vaginal fluids, and stool. Sexually active individuals should be open about their potential exposure to the virus, and ask your partner or partners to do the same.

Pregnant women who are about to give birth are advised to have a caesarean section to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to the newborn. In addition, there have been reports of premature deliveries, pregnancy loss and stillbirth.

What do I do if I have symptoms?

Whether you are actively experiencing symptoms or think you have been in contact with a potential vector, the first step is to isolate yourself to prevent the spread of the virus. Next, contact your health care provider who will determine if the test should be done.

However, taking the test can be easier said than done. Scientists told NPR that the outbreak in the United States is greater than the number of official cases, and one of them described the test case as “bad.”

The World Health Organization advises people to isolate themselves for three weeks of their time Believed them They may have had limited contact with others while waiting for test results.

Your health care provider will explain what to do if you test positive for monkeypox. According to the World Health Organization, the virus should run its course, and symptoms should go away on their own within two to four weeks without the need for treatment.

If you are experiencing telltale symptoms, here are some tips from the World Health Organization:

  • Avoid scratching your skin
  • Keep skin dry and exposed
  • Clean the skin with sterile water or disinfectants
  • Take a warm bath with baking soda or Epsom salts for lesions on the body
  • For lesions in the mouth, use a salt water rinse as you would for mouth sores

If you live in a shared home, isolate your room and use a designated bathroom if possible. Use separate eating utensils, towels and electronicsAnd the And you wash your clothes yourself. Open windows whenever possible to get good ventilation, but avoid sweeping and vacuuming, as they can disturb virus particles on floors and lead to further infection.

What about vaccinations?


A man receives a monkeypox vaccination in London, England. Vaccines, designed to prevent smallpox, also provide protection against monkeypox, which belongs to the same viral family.

Holly Adams / Getty Images


Hide caption

Caption switch

Holly Adams / Getty Images


A man receives a monkeypox vaccination in London, England. Vaccines, designed to prevent smallpox, also provide protection against monkeypox, which belongs to the same viral family.

Holly Adams / Getty Images

The United States uses two types of smallpox vaccine to fight monkeypox as previous data indicated that these vaccines can be 85% effective against this virus as well. In the current outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, there is no data available about the effectiveness of either vaccine.

The CDC says that those who have been exposed to monkeypox and have not received a smallpox vaccine within three years should get a vaccine sooner rather than later. The agency recommends vaccinating individuals within four days of exposure and no later than two weeks to reduce symptoms.

Vaccines can have side effects These include mild fever, fatigue and swollen glands, as well as redness and itching in the vaccination site.

Unfortunately, there is a limited supply of one vaccine—more is expected in the coming weeks and months—and the other should not be taken by individuals with certain skin conditions, those with compromised immune systems and people with compromised immune systems. pregnant.

#Monkeypox #public #health #emergency #Heres #virus

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.