Monkeypox is a rare viral infection transmitted to humans from animals, with symptoms very similar to smallpox but less severe clinically. Monkeypox virus belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox.

Fever, muscle ache, lesions, and chills are the common symptoms of monkeypox in humans.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms very similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. Monkeypox is caused by monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.

Fresh cases of the viral infection were reported across Europe especially in France, Belgium and Germany.

Origin

Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in a 9-year-old boy in a region where smallpox had been eliminated in 1968. Since then, most cases have been reported from rural, rainforest regions of the Congo Basin, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and human cases have increasingly been reported from across Central and West Africa.

Transmission

Zoonotic transmission means transmission from animals to human beings. Transmission can occur from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals or persons.

Symptoms

The infection can be divided into two periods:

  • the invasion period (lasts between 0-5 days) characterized by fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph nodes), back pain, myalgia (muscle aches) and intense asthenia (lack of energy). Lymphadenopathy is a distinctive feature of monkeypox compared to other diseases that may initially appear similar (chickenpox, measles, smallpox)
  • the skin eruption usually begins within 1-3 days of appearance of fever. The rash tends to be more concentrated on the face and extremities rather than on the trunk. It affects the face (in 95% of cases), and palms of the hands and soles of the feet (in 75% of cases). Also affected are oral mucous membranes (in 70% of cases), genitalia (30%), and conjunctivae (20%), as well as the cornea. The rash evolves sequentially from macules (lesions with a flat base) to papules (slightly raised firm lesions), vesicles (lesions filled with clear fluid), pustules (lesions filled with yellowish fluid), and crusts which dry up and fall off. The number of lesions varies from a few to several thousand. In severe cases, lesions can coalesce until large sections of skin slough off.
Countries reporting confirmed human cases of monkeypox 1970 – 2021

Treatment

Currently no specific treatment has been proved effective for monkeypox. Patients will usually need to stay in a specialist hospital so the infection doesn’t spread and general symptoms can be treated. Treatment of monkeypox patients is supportive dependent on the symptoms. Various compounds that may be effective against monkeypox virus infection are being developed and tested.   Outbreak of the virus can be controlled by preventive measures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

error: Content is protected !!