Monkeypox Symptoms, Treatment, Vaccine: How does it spread, is it fatal or not? Check FAQs
Monkeypox symptoms include both mild and serious symptoms and cause a range of signs and symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, back pain, swollen lymph nodes and lesions on face, eyes, mouth, throat, palms and soles.
Monkeypox Symptoms: The World Health Organisation declared the monkeypox outbreak as a global health emergency on July 24, 2022. The monkeypox disease has affected almost 17000 people in 74 countries across the world, as per WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The WHO Chief said that the risk of contracting monkeypox was moderate globally but high in the European region. This is the highest level of alarm that the organisation can sound.
This comes as India reported four monkeypox cases with the latest being a 31-year-old man in Delhi with no international travel history. The other three confirmed monkeypox cases have been detected in Kerala.
VIDEO: ⚕️ The World Health Organization (#WHO) has declared the #monkeypox outbreak to be a global health emergency -- the highest alarm it can sound. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the risk was 'moderate' globally but 'high' in the European region pic.twitter.com/fNt6J6ZJJu— AFP News Agency (@AFP) July 24, 2022
Monkeypox Symptoms and FAQs: Is Monkeypox fatal or not? Check All Questions and Answers
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic infection caused by the monkeypox virus.
How does Monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox spreads from animals to humans and it can also spread from person to person.
How does monkeypox spread from person to person?
Monkeypox spreads from person to person through extremely close contact with the infected someone including face-to-face contact or mouth-to-mouth, skin-to-skin or mouth-to-skin contact and sexual contact. The person infected with Monkeypox is considered infectious till all their lesions fall off and a new layer of skin is formed.
Monkeypox can also spread through contaminated environment such as clothing, bedding, towels, objects and surfaces. It can also spread through breathing in the ski flakes or clothing of the infection person. This type of transmission is called fomite transmission.
What are Monkeypox symptoms?
Monkeypox symptoms include both mild and serious symptoms and cause a range of signs and symptoms such as -
-Swollen Lymph nodes
- Rashes/ Lesions on face, eyes, mouth, throat, palms and soles
The number of lesions can range from one to several thousand and they begin flat, then fill with liquid and then dry up, crust over and fall off.
Who are at higher risk for severe Monkeypox symptoms?
The people who are at higher risk of severe Monkeypox infection include children, pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised.
WHO Regional Director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh said recently that most of the cases identified till now are concentrated among men who have sex with men and hence it is possible to curtail further spread of the disease with focused efforts among the at-risk population.
The WHO Regional Director further emphasised that, "Importantly, our focused efforts and measures should be sensitive, devoid of stigma or discrimination. Though the risk of Monkeypox globally and in the Region is moderate, the potential of its further international spread is real. Also, there are still many unknowns about the virus. We need to stay alert and prepared to roll out intense response to curtail further spread of Monkeypox."
Besides this, healthcare workers, who have prolonged and close exposure to the infected patient are at high risk of contracting the infection.
Does Monkeypox spread through air?
No, it does not spread through air but through close contact, within two meters of the infected person. Monkeypox is less infective than smallpox and chickenpox.
Is Monkeypox a sexually transmitted disease only?
No, as per experts, though men who have sex with men are at a higher risk of catching monkeypox, the risk is not limited to people who are sexually active but anyone with close contact with someone who has symptoms.
WHO Chief Dr. Tedros observed that at the moment the monkeypox outbreak is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.
However, health experts disagree saying though men who have sex with men are at a higher risk of catching monkeypox, there is no evidence that suggests that it is only an STD or spreads only through sexual contact. They stated that it cannot be categorised as HIV, as the risk is not limited to people who are sexually active but anyone with close contact with someone who has symptoms.
What to do if you have been exposed to someone infected with monkeypox?
If you have been exposed to someone with monkeypox or an environment that may have been contaminated, monitor yourself closely for monkeypox symptoms for 21 days since the time you were exposed and limit close contact with others.
If you start having symptoms of monkeypox, isolate yourself for three weeks and contact your nearest healthcare provider for testing and further medical care. Monkeypox can turn severe if not treated with proper care.
The incubation period of monkeypox virus is generally 5-13 days but can range from 4 to 21 days as well.
Is there a vaccine for monkeypox virus?
Yes, experts have recommended the use of smallpox vaccine against monkeypox infection. The smallpox vaccine, if administered within 4 days, can prevent monkeypox. Some of the countries have been recommending vaccination for persons at risk. However, mass vaccination is not recommended against monkeypox at this time.
Is Monkeypox fatal or not?
Monkeypox is less infectious than chicken pox and small pox and the rate of fatality is also low. It does not lead to scarring as well unless among those who are immunocompromised.
Further, experts believe that those who were born before 1977 were likely to have received smallpox vaccination and this should offer some protection against Monkeypox.
Monkeypox was first isolated in the late 1950s from a colony of monkeys. It has got its name from a 1958 outbreak among a group of monkeys inside a research facility in Copenhagen, Denmark.
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