Setting high on the global news, monkeypox has been declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” by the World Health Organization.
So, what is monkeypox exactly, and how can you prevent it? We’ll talk just about that in this space, so continue reading.
Firstly, What Is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral disease caused by the monkeypox virus. The virus comes from the same family as smallpox. Though it is considered to be less fatal than smallpox, some cases may become severe, especially with the ones who are immuno-compromised.
How Did It Come To The Picture?
Monkeypox is a disease contracted by humans from infected animals. Studies spot the first case of monkeypox in a human back in 1970.
The class of animals most likely to spread the infection include rodents and non-human primates. Some studies even suggest that any mammal can contract this disease.
The actual reason as to where it originated from is still a matter unknown. But it is of prime importance that we understand the seriousness of the case since it has become a global issue.
The infection lasts 2 to 4 weeks and generally disappears on its own.
So, How Does The Monkeypox Infection Spread?
The infection can spread by either of two ways, animal-to-human or human-to-human.
Animals infected with monkeypox are likely to spread the infection through a bite or a scratch. Humans may even contract the virus by consuming infected animal products, like meat.
Humans can contract the virus through direct contact with other infected humans. It could be through body fluids, respiratory droplets, lesions, and sharing contaminated surfaces like bedding.
Monkeypox infection is milder than smallpox, a fatal disease which got eradicated in 1980.
Symptoms Of Monkeypox
The symptoms closely resemble to those of smallpox. However, we have to remember that it is less fatal than smallpox.
Common symptoms include:
- Fever with chills
- Body aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Appearance of blister-like rashes, especially around the face, inside the mouth, and other parts of the body like hands, feet, and chest
The symptoms vary from person to person. Some might get the rashes and then the other symptoms may appear. While others may just face rashes and no other symptoms.
Note: According to the recent data by WHO, most cases have been recorded in gay and bisexual men. But it is to realize that anyone who comes in close contact with an infected person can contract monkeypox.
For the same reason, WHO recommends to limit multiple sexual partners.
How Does It Affect Pregnant Women?
It’s scary for pregnant women as the virus can infect the fetus through the placenta, in case the mother is infected. The virus can also infect the baby during the delivery process.
How To Prevent Monkeypox?
- Avoid close contact with infected or sick animals.
- Consume well-cooked meat.
- Avoid multiple sexual partners.
- Maintain distance from people infected by monkeypox.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
As monkeypox is becoming a matter of international concern, we recommend that you take utmost care of yourself and your loved ones. There’s not so much to worry as the fatality ratio is really low. But we have to realize the potential threat it can become for children and especially immunologically challenged people.