Rare cases of monkeypox virus infection are emerging in Europe and the United States, suggesting smallpox-related virus is spreading locally rather than as a result of travel to endemic countries viruses – mainly Central and West Africa.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating possible cases in the US, including one confirmed case in a man in Massachusetts. “The CDC is urging healthcare providers in the US to be vigilant about patients with monkeypox-associated rash, regardless of their travel or specific risk factors for the disease.” with monkeypox and regardless of gender or sexual orientation,” a CDC representative said in a statement.
After about 100 cases were confirmed across Europe, the World Health Organization also announced on Friday (May 20) it would hold an emergency meeting to discuss the outbreaks, Reuters reported. Despite fears of another pandemic, experts do not think monkeypox will reach such a level of transmissibility, as the virus does not spread easily, according to Reuters. such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to Reuters.
Here’s what we know so far about monkeypox and the current outbreaks.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus (genus Orthopoxvirus). The virus is closely related to other “smallpox” viruses such as vaccinenia, large and small variola (which causes smallpox) and smallpox virus, according to the CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Monkeypox was first identified in 1958 in monkey populations, and then again in 1970 in humans in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the following years, monkeypox outbreaks occurred in areas across Central and West Africa, according to the CDC.
Is monkeypox fatal?
Smallpox in monkeys usually clears up on its own within a period of two to four weeks, according to the World Health Organization, according to the World Health Organization. However, severe cases can occur, and today between 3% and 6% of those infected with the disease die from it, the WHO notes. The risk of death is higher in young children. People under the age of 40 to 50 may also be more susceptible to smallpox because the smallpox vaccination – which protects a person from getting smallpox – was stopped after that disease was ruled out, at times different in different countries.
The current monkeypox cases appear to be genetically related with the variant that spreads mainly in West Africa and is less fatal – with a mortality rate of about 1% in these remote areas, Nature News reported.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Like many other viruses, monkeypox begins with fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches and headaches, but it also causes swollen lymph nodes, according to the CDC. About one to three days after the fever starts, people may have a rash that starts on the face and spreads all over the body. The rash progresses through several stages before disappearing. First, macules, or light brown spots, appear all over the body. Next, the so-called papules, which are raised nodules, appear. The rash then turns into blisters and pustules, which look like pus-filled blisters. Eventually, these scabs peel off and flake off. The CDC notes that the illness usually takes two to four weeks to resolve.
How is smallpox in monkeys spread?
Smallpox in monkeys is an zoonotic disease, which means that it usually spreads from animal reservoirs to humans. (The main animal hosts are not known, but they may include some rodents or primates, according to WHO.) The virus can also spread from person to person through long-term close contact. According to WHO, close contact can occur through skin lesions, respiratory droplets, bodily fluids or contaminated materials such as bedding. Smallpox in monkeys is much less contagious than SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, scientists are now investigating the genomes of some of these newer cases of monkeypox, to see if there are any mutations that could increase transmission, Nature News reports. believe.
Is monkeypox treatable?
Although no treatment has been tested and found to be safe and effective, doctors can use several options to treat the infection, including antivirals and immune globulins. vaccination (antibodies drawn from the blood of people who have been vaccinated against smallpox), according to the CDC. Smallpox and monkeypox vaccines can be used to prevent transmission of the disease to others, using what is called the “vaccination ring” strategy. In that system, close contacts of an initial case are vaccinated against smallpox to prevent further transmission, Live Science previously reported. This strategy eventually led to the eradication of smallpox in 1980.
Where was monkeypox discovered?
So far, more than 100 cases have been reported around the worldwith the majority of cases occurring in Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom. There are also several cases linked to the outbreak near Montreal, Canada, one in New York City and another in Massachusetts. The New York Times reported. Cases have also been reported in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Australia. Many cases in men aged 30 to 55 who have sex with men, According to The Washington Post.
If you think you have monkeypox, what should you do?
If you suspect you have monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider for treatment and contact tracing, especially if you are in any of the following situations, According to CDC:
—You have traveled to Central or West Africa, parts of Europe that reported monkeypox, or other areas with confirmed cases in the month before symptoms began.
—You have been in contact with a person with confirmed or suspected monkeypox.
—You are a man who is in frequent intimate contact with other men.
“If individuals get sick, they’re usually sick for two to four weeks,” said Andrea McCollum, a poxvirus epidemiologist at the CDC. Atlantic.
Originally published on Live Science.
https://www.livescience.com/monkeypox-outbreaks-faq Monkeypox outbreaks: Here’s everything you need to know