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What is Monkeypox? Is Monkeypox Dangerous? – Causes and Symptoms

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What is Monkeypox and where does it come from?

Monkeypox is a member of the poxvirus family, which includes smallpox. The virus was first discovered in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958, hence the name Monkeypox. However, the virus does not originate in monkeys. Scientists are unsure, but it is thought to be spread by small rodents and squirrels in Africa’s rainforests.

The virus has two strains: Central African and West African. The Central African virus causes more severe infections and is more likely to result in death than the West African virus. The first human case of Monkeypox was diagnosed in 1970. Since then, the majority of infections have been concentrated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.

What are the signs and symptoms of Monkeypox?

Even though Monkeypox is rare, it is now spreading across western countries. Early signs of Monkeypox can be flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, aching muscles. A rash with raised bumps appears one to three days later. The rash usually begins on your face and spreads to other parts of your body, including your palms and soles of your feet. The rash begins with flat, red bumps.

What is monkeypox?
Image courtesy – What is monkeypox Google images
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The bumps develop into blisters that fill with pus. However, the blisters crust over and fall off after a few days. The time between infection and the onset of symptoms, known as the incubation period, can range from five to 21 days. The illness usually clears up in two to four weeks.

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How can you catch Monkeypox?

Monkeypox can be transmitted to humans through animal bites or scratches. It can also spread through close contact with an infected person. The virus can enter the body through open wounds, the respiratory tract, or the eyes, nose, or mouth. You can also get it by coming into direct or indirect contact with virus-infected materials. Clothing, bedding, and other linens worn by an infected person are examples of these materials. Despite the fact that Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection, some of the newly identified cases in Europe have been among gay and bisexual men.

Is Monkeypox Dangerous? Is Monkeypox curable?

Even though there is currently no proven safe treatment available, outbreaks can be controlled through infection prevention. Vaccination against smallpox has been shown to be 85 percent effective in preventing Monkeypox. Antiviral medications may also be beneficial, but they have not been studied as a treatment for Monkeypox.

Like I’ve mentioned before, the time between infection and the onset of symptoms, known as the incubation period, can range from five to 21 days. The illness are typically mild, and most people recover within two to four weeks.

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Monkeypox Virus Outbreak 2022 in UK, USA, Canada and Europe

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Whilst every nation is on high alert for new outbreaks after the COVID pandemic, there are several reasons why Monkeypox is not being treated with the same level of concern as the coronavirus.

But recently, The WHO declared monkeypox a global health emergency. This means that the outbreak is currently viewed as a significant threat to global health and a coordinated international response is required. More than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported across more than 70 countries so far this year, and the number of confirmed infections rose 77% from late June through early July, according to WHO data.

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Five deaths from the virus have been reported in Africa this year. But there were no deaths reported outside of Africa yet. The current monkeypox outbreak is spreading widely in North American and European nations where the virus is not usually found which is highly unusual. In the past, monkeypox has spread at low levels in remote parts of West and Central Africa where rodents and other animals carried the virus.

Europe is currently the global epicenter of the outbreak and has reported more than 80% of confirmed infections worldwide in 2022. The U.S. has reported more than 2,500 monkeypox cases so far across 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The United Kingdom reported a case of monkeypox in a person who recently returned from travel to Nigeria in early May. A couple of days later, the U.K. reported three more cases of monkeypox which appeared to have been infected locally.

It has to be noted that when WHO issued a global health emergency last time in January 2020 with regard to the Covid-19 outbreak, it was declared a pandemic two months later.

This article was published on 23rd May and was updated on 26th July.

What do you think about this Monkeypox outbreak? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Ajay Paul
Ajay Paul
Just A Library’s smartass Professor Utonium. A crazy shopaholic who owns an endless collection of shoes and shirts. A true foodie addicted to biryani, sweets, and momos. That mature yet occasionally childish guy of our pack.

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