As if we had a little bit of the coronavirus, so now the world is facing a fight with the monkeypox virus. The pandemic has been going on for more than two years. Although the number of infected has significantly decreased, coronavirus is still present among us. Even the World Health Organization has begun to take the monkeypox problem seriously and is ready to declare a state of emergency if necessary. Of course, we are all really overwhelmed, knowing how many challenges we went through with the coronavirus and all the consequences it brought. Unfortunately, there was also a loss of human life, because we were facing an unknown opponent.
The situation is changing every day, and you can stay up to date following the news and updates on https://rte.news/.
What do we need to know about monkeypox?
This virus belongs to the smallpox group, although the symptoms are milder. So far it has been concentrated only in parts of Africa, but now it is also found in America and Europe. It is transmitted from animals to humans. It is called the monkey virus because it was first recorded in monkeys, but it can also be transmitted through rodents as well as from person to person.
Transmission occurs through body fluids, micro-drops in the air, direct contact with a person with measles, and the use of the same clothing or bedding with someone who already has visible skin lesions.
In this article, we will include some of the things you need to know about the virus:
1. Monkeypox is a zoonotic virus
This is the term the doctors are using. That means it’s transferred from animals to people. The result is a rash and lesions, that are full of a type of puss, that contains the virus. As the first cases were detected, the WHO announced it’s not related to COVID-19, and it’s a known virus to the science. It was first isolated in 1958.
Even though it’s a zoonotic virus, the transmission between humans is possible, especially when they have intimate contact, or they are too close to each other, as the virus attacks the body.
2. It’s a part of the group known as Orthopoxvirus
Also, smallpox and cowpox viruses belong to this group. Smallpox is a really dangerous disease, that may have a lethal result in about 30% of the cases. But, monkeypox’s fatality rate is less than 4%. And surely, it’s worth mentioning that the West African mutation is different than the Central African clade, but the fatality rate is still small compared to smallpox.
3. What are the symptoms?
When a person is infected with the monkeypox virus, the symptoms are developed after one week, but they may happen to occur after 12-13 days, or even after 21 days. Most of the infected patients will develop rash, blisters, and/or lesions. Also, the common symptoms can be muscle weakness, exhaustion, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, and headaches. The lesions can be itchy and painful, and very unpleasant and uncomfortable when lying in bed, or wearing clothes that touch the blisters. So, if you spot some rash, we suggest going to your doctor, especially if there are registered cases of monkeypox in your country or city.
4. Is the disease treatable?
There are vaccines, but they are not really common and widely available. Also, the treatment sometimes may require antibiotics and painkillers, and treatment for secondary infections. The vaccine is mostly available in Africa, and WHO has a plan to distribute it if needed in other corners of the world.
5. Can the virus mutate?
This virus is fairly stable and has little chance of mutation. In Africa, there are two varieties for more than 60 years. Of course, we can not say for sure, but the current knowledge is that there is no great prospect of a rapid mutation, as happened with the coronavirus. However, the possibility of adapting and showing small changes if it stays in Europe for a long time or in other territories around the world is not ruled out.
6. What is the worst-case scenario?
The Monkeypox virus can easily infect children or people with weakened immune systems. It is also risky for those with chronic diseases. A fatal outcome is rare, but not ruled out as possible. Death usually occurs when there is not enough good medical care. Children are a riskier group than adults.
On the other hand, secondary infections can be much more dangerous. When left untreated, monkeypox can lead to encephalitis, sepsis, bronchopneumonia, and cornea infection. If this happens, the chances of lasting sequelae and mortality increase, according to the known data on these diseases.
Other useful information
We hope you do not need to know these things, but the coronavirus has shown us that we can not rely on assumptions and coincidences. So, it is good to know that there are two types of vaccines, ACAM200 and JYNNEOS, which are available in the US, and Imvanex is used in the UK.
If you suspect that you have symptoms of infection, we recommend that you monitor your condition yourself, measure your temperature, and inform your doctor about the course of events. Insulation is recommended.
It is also advisable to avoid donating blood, breastfeeding your baby, and having an intimate relationship. Although airborne transmission is possible, very close contact is required. Well, if in doubt, isolate yourself from your family and follow the symptoms.
The symptoms are similar to measles, syphilis, allergies, and bacterial skin infections. If you suspect monkeypox, it’s a good idea to check it out in the lab.
For now, there is no need to be afraid of the monkeypox virus. But that does not mean you should not be too careful. Monitor your condition, especially if you have close contact with people who have traveled to Africa or to countries where the virus is present. Take care of yourself and follow the recommendations. Only in this way can the outbreak as it was with the coronavirus be avoided. And we really do not want that.
Be careful, and take care of yourself!