The first monkeypox case in India was reported in Kerala on July 14, 2022. Having returned from abroad, the virus-infected person was hospitalized after showing signs of infection. Without disclosing much details, the Kerala health minister, Veena George, stated that the individual tested positive for monkeypox on Thursday; As a result of his close contact with a patient abroad, the person showed symptoms of monkeypox.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes monkeypox as an animal-to-human zoonosis with symptoms that are similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is often less serious.

Humans are infected by the virus after it is transmitted from wild animals. Monkeypox has two main variants out of which the Congo strain accounts for up to 10% of deaths, while the West African strain accounts for 1%.

What are the Ways the Monkeypox Virus can Spread?

Infected animals, especially sick or dead ones, can spread the virus to humans when they come in contact with them. Including touching or consuming meat or blood. According to the WHO, all meat consumed in nations where the virus is endemic or circulating should be thoroughly cooked.

In addition, it can spread from person to person. Infected individuals can spread it through close physical contact.  A person with the virus can also contract the illness by touching objects, such as eating utensils or dishes.

Through birth or early physical contact, the virus can also be transmitted to a foetus or newborn.

What are the Symptoms of Monkeypox?

An individual may experience fever, intense headaches, muscle ache, swollen lymph nodes, lesions or rashes on the skin, and back pain for up to four weeks. Adolescents and adults are typically more prone to severe symptoms than children. A case fatality ratio between 3 and 6 percent has been reported by WHO for severe symptoms as well.

Is Monkeypox Contagious? What Should I Do If I Experience Symptoms?

If you believe you have monkeypox symptoms, contact a health worker for advice, testing, and treatment. Self-isolation is necessary to avoid close contact with others.

How is the Treatment of Monkeypox Administered?

WHO states that most symptoms go away on their own without treatment. Keep rashes and affected areas protected from further damage by letting them dry or covering them with a moist dressing. You should avoid touching sores in your mouth or eyes. Use eye drops and mouthwashes that do not contain cortisone. The WHO recommends vaccination with Vaccinia Immune Globulin (VIG) for severe cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cause of monkeypox?

Monkeypox is caused by an infection with the monkeypox virus. A monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus, which includes the smallpox and vaccinia viruses that make up smallpox vaccines.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and sore throat may be the first symptoms of monkeypox. The rash starts flat, becomes raised, fills with clear fluid (vesicles), and then becomes pustules. Lesions from monkeypox can be numerous or few.

Can I die from monkeypox?

Currently, the world outbreak (2022) is caused by a less severe West African clade. As of now, no deaths have been reported as a result of this outbreak. Monkeypox can, however, lead to pneumonia, encephalitis, or infections of the brain or eyes, which can be fatal.

Is there any treatment for monkeypox?

As a self-limiting disease, monkeypox usually lasts between two and four weeks. Monkeypox usually heals on its own without treatment. In severe cases, Vaccinia Immune Globulin (VIG) is recommended.

What does monkeypox do to the body?

Rashes resembling pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. Before the rash fully heals, it goes through different stages. Typically, the illness lasts between two and four weeks.

How can I prevent monkeypox?

Several steps can be taken to prevent the spread of monkeypox:

  • 1. Contact with infected animals should be avoided (especially with sick or dead animals).
  • 2. Virus-contaminated bedding and other materials should be avoided.
  • 3. All foods containing animal meat or parts should be thoroughly cooked.
  • 4. Hands should be washed frequently with soap and water.

What is the difference between chickenpox and monkeypox?

There are two types of viruses responsible for these diseases: monkeypox is caused by an orthopoxvirus, and chickenpox is caused by a varicella-zoster virus that also causes shingles. Close contact with respiratory droplets and direct contact with newly contaminated objects or skin lesions can spread both viruses.

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