Jagran Explainer: What is Monkeypox and who is at risk? Know about its symptoms and transmission

Jagran Explainer: According to the US CDC, the infected person is in good condition and currently receiving treatment at a hospital. The CDC further asserted that the case poses no risk to the public.

By Talibuddin Khan
Thu, 19 May 2022 12:26 PM IST
Minute Read
Jagran Explainer: What is Monkeypox and who is at risk? Know about its symptoms and transmission
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New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Amid an uptick in Monkeypox cases across European countries, the US' Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Wednesday confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection in an adult male with recent travel to Canada. According to the US CDC, the infected person is in good condition and currently receiving treatment at a hospital. The CDC further asserted that the case poses no risk to the public.

The monkeypox infection in the US came after a handful of cases are detected or suspected in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain. The outbreaks are raising alarm because the disease mostly occurs in the west and central Africa, and only very occasionally spreads elsewhere. While the United Kingdom has identified 9 cases of monkeypox, in early May 2022; the first case had recently travelled to Nigeria. Portugal has logged five confirmed cases, and Spain is testing 23 potential cases.

Here's everything you need to know about Monkeypox:

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a virus that causes fever symptoms as well as a distinctive bumpy rash. It is usually mild, although there are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe with up to 10 pc mortality and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate of more than 1 pc of cases. While monkeypox was discovered in 1958 in monkeys kept for research, the first human case was detected in 1970, as per the CDC. The disease is a relative of smallpox, causing a rash that often begins on the face.

How does Monkeypox spread?

This virus does not spread easily among people but transmission can occur through contact with the body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.

Monkeypox can be caught from a bite by an infected animal, or by touching its blood, body fluids or fur. It's also possible to catch the disease by eating meat from an infected animal that has not been cooked properly. The disease can also be transmitted by getting too close to coughs and sneezes from an infected person.

Symptoms of Monkeypox:

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-to-4 weeks. According to health experts, the symptoms of monkeypox usually take 5 to 21 days to appear at first. The initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, shivering and exhaustion.

Following the emergence of these symptoms, the infected person develops a rash typically after one to five days. The rash is sometimes confused with chickenpox because it starts as raised spots which turn into small scabs filled with fluid. The symptoms usually clear up within two to four weeks and scabs fall off.

The suspected cases may present with early flu-like symptoms and progress to lesions that may begin on one site on the body and spread to other parts and the illness could be clinically confused with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis or herpes or with varicella-zoster virus.

Who are at risk?

Based on findings of the Massachusetts case and the recent cases in the UK, clinicians should consider a diagnosis of monkeypox in people who present with an otherwise unexplained rash and 1) travelled, in the last 30 days, to a country that has recently had confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox 2) report contact with a person or people with confirmed or suspected monkeypox, or 3) is a man who reports sexual contact with other men.

Is there any treatment for monkeypox?

There's currently no specific treatment for monkeypox. Patients will usually need to stay in a specialist hospital so the infection doesn't spread and general symptoms can be treated.

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