Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that is caused by the monkeypox virus. The disease is similar to human smallpox but less severe. Monkeypox virus is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus which includes the vaccinia virus that was used in the smallpox vaccine.
Transmission of Monkeypox
The monkeypox virus is transmitted to humans from animals, primarily rodents and primates. The virus can be spread through contact with bodily fluids or through the respiratory system. The most common way of getting monkeypox is through contact with an infected animal, such as a prairie dog or a monkey.
In Africa, monkeypox is primarily spread through the handling of infected animals or eating infected bushmeat. In the United States, monkeypox has been linked to the purchase of pet prairie dogs that were infected with the virus. The virus can also be spread from person to person, but this is rare.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox but less severe. The symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash then develops, often beginning on the face then spreading to the trunk and limbs. The rash progresses to papules, vesicles, and pustules before scabbing over and falling off.
In severe cases, monkeypox can cause pneumonia, sepsis, or encephalitis. The disease has a mortality rate of 1-10%, with death more likely in people with weakened immune systems.
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but antiviral medication can help to reduce the severity of the illness. The treatment is mainly supportive, and it includes pain relief, fever reduction, and hydration.
People with monkeypox should be isolated to prevent the spread of the disease to other people. The isolation should last until all scabs have fallen off, and the patient is no longer contagious.
The best way to prevent monkeypox is to avoid contact with infected animals or their bodily fluids. People should also avoid consuming bushmeat or exotic meat, particularly in areas where monkeypox is prevalent.
People who own pet prairie dogs should take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. They should avoid handling sick animals and should wash their hands thoroughly after handling their pets or their enclosures. They should also avoid exposing their pets to other animals that may carry the virus.
Monkeypox is a rare disease, but it can be severe in some people. The disease is primarily spread through contact with infected animals or their bodily fluids. The best way to prevent monkeypox is to avoid contact with infected animals and to practice good hygiene. People who suspect they have monkeypox should seek medical attention, and they should be isolated until they are no longer contagious.