Everything about Monkeypox: Fundamentals, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Cure, Fatality, Spreading, Guidelines to Control

Introduction

Monkeypox is becoming a worldwide health threat because it is spreading fast to various parts of world like America, United Kingdom, European countries (France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland) since its inception in Africa.

It is considered to be a viral infection and has mild severity and deaths are not reported till now but it can become an epidemic if its transmission is not prevented at the earliest possible time.

Keeping in view of these facts, I have written this article to provide updated information on the fundamentals, symptoms, diagnosis, cure, fatality, spreading along with the guidelines to control the menace of monkeypox infections. So let us now read the article and get updated about monkeypox because prevention is always better than cure.

What is the Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a viral infection which was initially discovered in monkey in 1958 at a serum institute in Denmark.

It is closely related to smallpox in terms of symptoms but its severity is less as compared to smallpox. It is now well identified that monkeypox virus is a member of poxviridae family of genus orthopoxvirus.

Democratic Republic of Congo is the first country in which monkeypox viral symptoms were found in a young person in 1970.

If we talk about the recent most outbreak of monkeypox in the current year 2022, for the first time this infection has come out of Africa and entered into United Kingdom in May 2022 which is followed by monkeypox cases being suspected in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Canada, Italy, Switzerland and Australia.

It is noticed that people who eat half cooked meat and other animal products of monkeypox infected animals are at the great risk of getting infection with monkeypox.

How does a Person get Monkeypox?

People can catch monkeypox infection from the bite or scratch of already infected animals.

Infected people can further make the healthy people sufferers of monkeypox by physical contacts, sharing of household items which is very risky.

What are the Symptoms of Monkeypox?

It is recommended by WHO that Monkeypox causes mainly lesions on skin, genital area, mouth as well as all over the body of the infected person.

High fever, enlarged lymph nodes, head ache, fatigue and muscle pain can also be observed as symptoms of monkeypox in patients.

How Monkeypox can be Diagnosed?

In case of monkeypox, diagnosis with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is recommended by the health experts.  

With this technique it is found that people in different countries are diagnosed with monkeypox symptoms making this situation a multi-country outbreak.

Genome sequencing is also very effective diagnosis method for diagnosis of monkeypox.

Scientists of many European countries like France and Germany have done extensive research on genome sequencing of monkeypox and they have published full information in the reputed international journals.

This information is being utilized in the drug design and development to provide effective treatment for monkeypox.

Is there a Cure for Monkeypox?

Earlier it was observed that smallpox vaccination also showed cross protection against monkeypox. MVA-BN smallpox vaccine and tecovirimat drug had been approved by the competent regulatory authorities in many countries in 2019 and 2022 respectively.

This therapy is not frequently available in most of the countries in the world making it difficult to treat this deadly infection.

Antiviral drug cidofovir is effective in the management of orthopox viruses including monkeypox. It is approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA has given license for use of Vaccinia Immune Globulin Intravenous (VIGIV) to treat the symptoms of monkeypox in patients in case of outbreak.

One more promising antiviral medicine Brincidofovir is extremely useful against monkeypox but it is not commonly available worldwide.

Is Monkeypox Fatal?

As per World Health Organization (WHO) data received on 26 May 2022, it was noticed that 257 cases as confirmed with laboratory testing from different parts of world had monkeypox symptoms. Moreover, 120 people data who are suspect of monkeypox infection also reported to WHO.

It is a matter of great relief that as per WHO, no death incidence has taken place due to monkeypox infection.

How does Spreading of Monkeypox take Place?

Monkeypox can spread through an infected person easily by various ways which are as given below.

Close physical contact (face to face, skin to skin) with family members

Unprotected sex with different people

Sharing of bedding, utensils, clothing

Contact with monkeypox skin blisters or scabs

Coughs or sneezing from monkeypox infected persons

However, general population transmission and chances of becoming epidemic are low.

What are the Guidelines Issued for Detection and Treatment of Monkeypox Cases?

Although monkeypox cases are not registered in India, but for preventive measurements Union Health Ministry has released its vital guidelines for its detection and treatment as number of cases have reached to 300 worldwide.

When a person is infected with monkeypox, it can take time duration of 5-21 days for appearance of relevant symptoms.

Thereafter, skin rashes are developed on different body parts and such people can spread the infection to other healthy people as well.

Various guidelines in this regard are explained as given below.

If a suspected person has a travel history of affected countries in last 21 days and also contains monkeypox sypmtoms, their PCR test and genome sequencing must be done at high priority.

Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) is a platform to keep eye on status of infectious diseases in the country.  They are given instruction to be on high alert and keep the medical facilities ready to curb the menace of monkeypox.

Guidelines are issued for treating the symptoms of monkeypox like skin lesions, high fever, head ache, body ache etc.

It is also decided to trace the contacts of infection confirmed cases for at least 21 days and also collect their sample for PCR test and genome sequencing in-case the symptoms of monkeypox appears in them.

Airport authorities are also asked to keep their staff ready to identify the symptoms of monkeypox, apply thermal screening with strict compliance along with maintain record of travel history of the passengers who have travelled in the affected countries.

Conclusion

I have discussed the various aspects related to monkeypox infections like introduction, symptoms, diagnosis, cure, fatality, spreading and regulatory guidelines. The outcomes of this article can create awareness in readers on monkeypox infections.

This will help readers to stay away from monkeypox infections and keep them healthy and happy in their family life. So, Let us aware others also to fight against monkeypox infections and eliminate this dangerous disease.

Please feel free to ask questions, comment.

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