Monkeypox is rare, but the number of cases being discovered are increasing, across the world.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MONKEY POX
What are the signs and symptoms of monkeypox?
Monkeypox symptoms are similar but milder than smallpox symptoms. Early signs of monkeypox include flu-like symptoms such as:
Fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes
After one to three days, a rash with raised bumps develops. The rash often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body, including the palms and soles of the hands and feet respectively. The rash starts as flat, red bumps. The bumps turn into blisters filled with pus. After several days, the blisters crust over and fall off.
How does one contract monkey pox?
Monkeypox is spread when one comes into contact with an animal, or a person infected with the virus. Animal-to-person transmission occurs through broken skin, like from bites or scratches, or through direct contact with an infected animal’s blood, bodily fluids or pox lesions.
Monkeypox can spread from person to person as well, but it is less common.
Person-to-person spread (transmission) occurs when one encounters the viral particles from another person. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus can be transmitted through airborne droplets. It requires prolonged face-to-face contact, but one can then breathe in these tiny droplets from someone else or get them in their eyes or nose. One can also get it directly from touching the lesions on an infected person.
One can also get monkeypox by coming into direct or indirect contact with materials contaminated with the virus. These materials can include clothing, bedding and other linens used by an infected person or animal.
How is monkey pox diagnosed?
It may first be suspected to be other rash illnesses due to its rare nature. Illness such as measles, chicken pox or smallpox.
However, swollen lymph nodes distinguish monkeypox from other poxes.
To diagnose monkeypox, a healthcare provider takes a tissue sample that is looked at using a microscope. One may also need to give a blood sample to check for the monkeypox virus or antibodies the immune system makes against it.
How long does monkeypox last?
The illness typically lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.
Is there a treatment or vaccine for monkeypox?
Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox. Smallpox and monkeypox are caused by similar viruses, so when people are vaccinated against smallpox, it also protects them from getting monkeypox. Since smallpox is no longer a disease that people get vaccination for, most people would not have that protection against monkeypox.
How to prevent monkey pox
Prevention depends on decreasing human contact with infected animals and limiting person-to-person spread. One can prevent monkeypox virus by:
-Avoiding contact with infected animals (especially sick or dead animals).
-Avoiding contact with bedding and other materials contaminated with the virus.
-Avoiding contact with people who may be infected with the virus.
-Washing hands with soap and water after coming in contact with an infected animal or human.
- Thoroughly cooking all foods that contain animal meat or parts.
- Using personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for people infected with the virus.