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All you’ll need to know about MonkeyPox

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I recently had a Chickenpox infection, one that could be tagged chronic as the rashess are unusually bigger than the normal Smallpox or Chickenpox that I have ever seen, it concentrated mostly on my face, palm of my hands and my thighs, very few on other parts. But its so much on my face am sore afraid whenever I looked inside the mirror to check how am fairing. few weeks now, and its scars are still on my face, “They will soon go off” that’s from sympathizers consoling me.

And here comes this report and a scary picture of an 11 years old boy(as reported) from Yenogoa, Bayelsa State, which brought the memory of my pox infection ordeal, Report has it that He was infected by a rare kind of pox, the Monkeypox (I’ve never heard of it before sha!) But it is a kind of a Viral infection that is Airborne and highly contagious!

So, we at the Naija Center News brings to you everything you’ll need to know about this dreadful infection. Happy Rreadng

1. It is Endemic:
Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.

2. It is like other Pox infections: The monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans and,
although it is similar to human smallpox,but it is much milder.

3. It takes its origin frrom wild Animals:
The monkeypox virus is transmitted to people from various wild animals but has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.

4. It mostly fatal among Younger people:
Typically, case fatality in monkeypox outbreaks has been
between 1% and 10%, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.

5. There is currrently no Treatment:There is no treatment or vaccine available although prior
smallpox vaccination was highly effective in preventing
monkeypox as well.

6. Its symptoms are similar to that of other Pox imfections: Monkeypox has symptoms in humans similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although less severe.

7. Monkeypox is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family
Poxviridae. The virus was first identified in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1958 during an investigation into a pox-like disease among monkeys.

8. Origin:
Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Zaire) in a 9 year old boy.

9. A major outbreak of Monkeypox occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1996-1997.

10. First case recorded outside Africa:
In the spring of 2003, monkeypox cases were reported and confirmed in the Midwestern part of the United States of America, marking the first reported occurrence of the disease outside of the African continent. Most of the patients had had close contact with pet prairie dogs.

11. Transmission:
Infection of index cases results from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals. In Africa human infections have been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian rats, striped mice, dormice and primates.

12. Signs and symptoms:
The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 16 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.
The infection can be divided into two periods:

i. the invasion period (0-5 days) characterized by fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph node), back pain, myalgia (muscle ache) and an intense asthenia (lack of energy);

ii. the skin eruption period (within 1-3 days after appearance of fever) where the various stages of the rash appears, often beginning on the face and then spreading elsewhere on the body. The face (in 95% of cases), and palms of the hands and soles of the feet (75%) are most affected. Evolution of the rash from maculopapules (lesions with a flat bases) to vesicles (small fluid-filled blisters), pustules, followed by crusts occurs in approximately 10 days. Three weeks might be necessary before the complete disappearance of the crusts.

The number of the lesions varies from a few to several thousand, affecting genitalia, eyelids , as well as the eyeballs.

Some patients develop severe lymphadenopathy before the appearance of the rash, which is a distinctive feature of monkeypox compared to other similar disease.

13. Sussceptibility:
Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 14 to 21 days. Severe cases occur more commonly among children and are related to the extent of virus exposure, patient health status and severity of complications.

People living in or near the forested areas may have indirect or low-level exposure to infected animals, possibly leading to subclinical (asymptomatic) infection.

The case fatality has varied widely between epidemics but has been less than 10% in documented events, mostly among young children. In general, younger age-groups appear to be more susceptible to monkeypox.

14. Treatment and vaccine:
There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for monkeypox infection, but outbreaks can be controlled. Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. Nevertheless, prior smallpox vaccination will likely result in a milder disease course.

15. Natural host of monkeypox virus:
In Africa, monkeypox infection has been found in many animal species.

Doubts persist on the natural history of the virus and further studies are needed to identify the exact reservoir of the monkeypox virus and how it is maintained in nature.

In the USA, the virus is thought to have been transmitted from African animals to a number of susceptible non-African species (like prairie dogs) with which they were co-housed.

14. Prevention:
To reduce the risk of infection in people during human monkeypox outbreaks;

i. close contact with infected people is the most significant risk factor for monkeypox virus infection. Public health educational messages should focus on reducing close physical contact with monkeypox infected people. In the absence of specific treatment or vaccine, the only way to reduce infection in people is by raising awareness on the risk factors and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus.

ii. Surveillance measures and rapid identification of new cases is critical for outbreak containment.

iii. Gloves and protective equipment should be worn when taking care of infected people.

iv. Regular hand washing should be carried out before and after caring for or visiting sick people.

15. Reducing the risk of animal-to-human transmission: Efforts to prevent transmission in endemic regions should focus on thoroughly cooking all animal products (blood, meat) before eating. Gloves and other appropriate protective clothing should be worn while handling sick animals or their infected tissues, and during slaughtering procedures.

Happy Weekend folks!

*Source: WHO

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