Health authorities in Europe, the U. S. and Australia are examining a recent epidemic of monkeypox cases, a rare viral disease typically restricted to Africa.
As the first case reported in the U.S, The deadly disease caused by the virus had spread through much of West Africa.
It has been reported that as many as millions of people are infected with the Monkeypox virus every year, linked to the death of several hundred people worldwide.
How is Monkeypox spreading around the world?
Last year we reported on a terrifying outbreak of Monkeypox that had infected hundreds of people in Africa and the United States. This summer, we learned the disease has spread into Brazil, Europe, North America, and South America. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that it could become as widespread as smallpox. WHO is alarming with 200 cases worldwide.
This virus is on the verge of spreading across the globe this year. Experts predict that it could kill more than 300,000 people. It would be the worst outbreak of the disease in almost a century. But why is this virus spreading so rapidly? Is it the perfect storm of climate change, an increase in air travel, and poor sanitation? It seems unlikely.
After all, Monkeypox has existed for hundreds of years, and there are only 200,000 confirmed cases of the disease worldwide. Why the sudden surge? The answer may lie in how the virus has mutated. There have been more than 30 outbreaks of the disease but never has it spread so quickly and with such devastating consequences.
The WHO team rushed in to help. We didn’t know how widespread it was until the team took samples from various local populations.
Although it was initially confined to Nigeria, the virus spread to other West African countries and India, Russia, and France in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1990, Monkeypox appeared for the first time in the United States when two health workers became sick with the virus while working in a lab.
In late 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of the worldwide monkeypox epidemic. By 2022, WHO officials anticipate that monkeypox cases could be detected globally.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were concerned because Monkeypox is a rare and severe disease that causes smallpox-like symptoms in humans.
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What is the Monkeypox?
The word “Monkeypox” conjures up images of exotic African wildlife and an often fatal illness to most people. But, for those living in the U.S., the disease is a severe threat. Monkeypox is caused by a virus similar to smallpox, an even greater health risk than Ebola.
Monkeypox, a viral disease that infects animals and can spread to humans, has been a growing concern for public health officials since the virus was discovered in 1970. The disease, named after a small village in western Africa, has already sickened over 400 people across 13 countries, killing 20 and infecting hundreds more.
But until the early 1990s, the disease hadn’t been seen in North America for a quarter-century. In 1994, a monkeypox outbreak in the United States occurred in Illinois, although there were no deaths. The outbreak led to the first documented human infection in the country.
Since then, the disease has become a significant public health concern. Experts fear that as the climate warms, monkeypox spreading will increase.
After a decade of hard work, we know that the disease was gone. So, in 2022, a resurgence of the virus should cause happiness. Why? Because it means that the government and public health institutions successfully eradicated the disease.
What are the strains of Monkeypox?
There are five strains of Monkeypox, and three are human diseases.
Two are in humans, one is in macaques, and one is in squirrel monkeys.
The two human diseases are called:
Zaire is the more severe but still causes about half of the deaths.
Congo is not as deadly but is more contagious and has a higher incidence rate.
Squirrel monkeypox is the most common among non-human primates and is less contagious than other forms of Monkeypox.
How do you catch Monkeypox?
The most likely explanation is human activity. Humans bring the virus into contact with the rodent reservoir, and people get exposed either directly or through an animal bite.
The virus has been identified in the blood of people who lived in the same village where the outbreak began but didn’t have any prominent exposure to monkeys, including one person visiting from a neighboring country.
The virus can enter the body through the bedding, infected clothes, broken skin, the respiratory tract, eyes, nose, respiratory droplets, and mouth.
Human to human transmission most commonly occurs through respiratory droplets, though it usually requires prolonged face-to-face contact. Meanwhile, the animal-to-human transmission may occur via a bite or scratch.
Monkeypox is not generally considered a sexually transmitted disease, though sex can pass it also.
How can you protect your kids from the Monkeypox virus? You might think that Monkeypox is just a benign disease, but you could catch it if your children aren’t vaccinated against it.
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What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom of Monkeypox is fever, and usually, that’s all that’s needed to convince someone to visit their doctor. However, in rare cases, there are also more severe symptoms, including:
3. Muscle pain
7. Difficulty breathing
8. Swelling (including swelling around the eyes)
9. Severe stomach pains
10. Loss of appetite
11. Extreme tiredness
12. Difficulty sleeping
13. Red spots or sores
14. Skin rash
15. Eye pain
16. Red, painful eye, sometimes with discharge from the eyes
17. Blurred vision
18. Difficulty concentrating
19. Severe fatigue and weakness
20. swollen lymph nodes
It causes blisters on the skin, and it is very contagious. People who contract Monkeypox do not always experience blisters or fever, but they can spread it to others. The rash starts as small, flat, red spots that quickly become blisters.
They may appear all over the body, including on the hands and feet, but they’re most common on the face and neck. Monkeypox is usually mild but can be deadly if it infects people with weak immune systems.
Symptoms typically appear 3-21 days after exposure. The symptoms usually last for 10-14 days but can be up to 20 days in rare cases. The mortality rate from Monkeypox is less than 1%.
What are the treatments and preventions?
People infected with Monkeypox may need to be isolated because they can spread the virus to others through close contact. Most people with monkeypox experience no symptoms or mild symptoms, but there are reports of serious illnesses, such as pneumonia and shock.
It could be used in many ways, but the most likely way is through a vaccine. “We need more research,” says Dr. Wills. “We know it works in animals, and we have some data on humans, but we still don’t know how well it works for Monkeypox. We also don’t know how effective it is.
There are no known vaccines to protect against infection with this virus. Treatment is primarily supportive. The treatment of Monkeypox has not been thoroughly researched yet.
Monkeypox is caused by a virus called variola major. There is a vaccine approved to prevent infection with the monkeypox virus. There is currently an approved antiviral drug to treat human monkeypox disease if you are exposed to Monkeypox.
If you develop symptoms after being exposed to the monkeypox virus, your doctor can prescribe a combination of raxibacumab (brand name: Abraxis) and oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu). Abraxis is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the actions of poxviruses in infected people. It was developed by Genentech, Inc. and manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Abraxis, LLC.
Oseltamivir is an antiviral drug used to treat and prevent influenza. It was developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. and is marketed by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd.
How dangerous is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2016 and a primary global health concern by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At the time of this writing, Monkeypox has been found in seven countries, and over 30 cases have been reported, including four deaths, all of whom had weakened immune systems.
To answer this question, let’s examine how Monkeypox is spread. Human infection occurs through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected animal, usually an insect vector. Human-to-human transmission does occur.
People who have never been vaccinated, have weakened immune systems, or work in areas of high population density are at risk of getting the disease. However, even if your monkeypox vaccine is up to date, you can still be infected.
Monkeypox is one of the most dangerous zoonotic diseases. It’s highly contagious and is spread through contact with an infected animal or human (a bite, a scratch, a petting, or even a kiss) via close contact. Symptoms include fever, headache, backache, joint pain, and a rash that appears 2–3 days after exposure. The virus can lead to death within 7–10 days of infection. The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid contact with wild animals.