What is monkeypox?

What is monkeypox and why should you care?

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that affects humans and other animals. It is closely related to the deadly smallpox virus, but the disease is much less severe. The symptoms of monkeypox can range from mild to severe, and it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with this virus. In this blog post, we’ll explain what monkeypox is and why you should care about it.

What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare virus that is related to smallpox. It is found in parts of Africa and causes a rash-like illness in humans. Monkeypox is spread through contact with an infected animal or person, usually through contact with their bodily fluids or mucous membranes. The virus can also be spread through contact with infected bedding, clothing, or food.
The first known case of monkeypox was reported in 1970 in a colony of monkeys in a laboratory in Denmark. Since then, there have been several human cases reported in various parts of the world, including the United States. Most cases have occurred in Central and West African countries.
Monkeypox is generally milder than smallpox and is rarely fatal. Most people who contract the virus develop a mild fever and a rash, although some may experience more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, pneumonia, eye inflammation, and swelling of the lymph nodes. Treatment for monkeypox includes supportive care to treat the symptoms, antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections, and antiviral medications to reduce the severity and duration of the infection. Prevention of monkeypox includes avoiding contact with potentially infected animals, wearing protective clothing when handling wild animals, and avoiding contact with persons known to be infected with monkeypox.

How is it spread?

Monkeypox is primarily spread through direct contact with an infected animal or human. Humans can be infected through contact with the virus in the saliva, respiratory secretions, or bodily fluids of an infected animal or person. Additionally, the virus can be spread by handling the bedding or clothing of an infected person, as well as through the bites of an infected animal or insect.
The virus can also spread through contact with objects such as cages, bedding, and food bowls that have been contaminated with the virus. The virus is less likely to spread through casual contacts, such as touching surfaces that have been contaminated by the virus. However, it is still possible to become infected if one comes into contact with materials containing the virus.
Infected animals can spread monkeypox to other animals and humans, so contact with wild animals should be avoided. It is important to remember that monkeypox can be transmitted from person to person, so it is important to practice good hygiene such as washing hands frequently and avoiding close contact with anyone who is suspected to have monkeypox.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Symptoms of monkeypox can occur anywhere from a few days to three weeks after infection. The incubation period is usually about seven to ten days. Early signs and symptoms of the disease may include fever, headache, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle pain. Later symptoms may include a rash and severe headaches. If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. Differential diagnoses for monkeypox include other viral diseases such as varicella, measles, mumps, rubella, yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, infectious mononucleosis, herpes simplex, diphtheria, brucellosis, rabies, typhoid fever, poliomyelitis, leprosy, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Initial signs and symptoms typically appear 3-7 days after exposure to an infected animal or animal products. Most people with monkeypox have mild symptoms and recover fully within 10 days without treatment. However, some people can develop serious complications or die from the disease.

How is monkeypox treated?

Early treatment with antibiotics is recommended to reduce the risk of developing more serious complications. Treatment can also be given to prevent the illness in people who are at high risk of infection and to limit the spread to other people.. Diagnostic tests can be used to confirm a diagnosis of monkeypox and to determine the severity of the infection.