Monkeypox: Another skin infection in the world

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Monkeypox- A Viral Skin Disease Like Smallpox

Monkeypox virus is structurally related to the smallpox virus and causes similar but milder illness. Monkeypox is endemic in rodents and monkeys in the Central and Western Africa, outbreak recorded once in the United States of America (2003).

Monkeypox mostly affects children, people who have received smallpox vaccine are possibly at reduced risk.

Although monkeypox virus is less fatal and not as transmissible as the virus that causes smallpox, there is growing concern that monkeypox may become the next emerging poxvirus to plague humankind since smallpox is successfully eradicated.

Monkeypox virus is mostly likely transmitted from animals via wounds or mucous membranes, transmission from one person to another is considered low.

Clinical differentiation of monkeypox from smallpox and chickenpox may almost be impossible.

Though monkeypox skin lesions occur more often in crops and it usually causes lymph nodes enlargement, diagnosis can only be done with medical tests.

Monkeypox has about 10 to 14 days incubation period after infection. The infected person then start to experience fever, chills, malaise, headache, backache, sore throat, shortness of breath, and swollen lymph nodes before developing the characteristic rash (usually start from the face and spread to other body parts). The main difference between symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not. Monkeypox symptoms typically lasts for two to four weeks. Supportive treatment is usually given to ease symptoms.

TIPS TO PREVENT MONKEYPOX INFECTION

1. Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).

2. Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick animal.

3. Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk of infection.

4. Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

References:

  1. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy

Nineteenth Edition.

2. Monkeypox Prevention.

https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/prevention.html

Accessed 02/03/17

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