Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by the monkeypox virus. The virus belongs to the same family as smallpox and is named after the monkeys that were first discovered to have it. Although it is similar to smallpox, monkeypox is a milder disease, but it can still be serious in some cases. In light of the recent news about a 25-year-old man who travelled to Saudia Arabia from Pakistan and has been diagnosed with an infectious viral illness formerly referred to as monkeypox, it is important to remain vigilant about the potential spread of this viral disease. Here we give you 7 facts about monkeypox that you should know!
1. Origin & Spread
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when outbreaks occurred in monkeys that were being used for research. The virus was later found to infect other animals such as rodents and humans. The first human case of monkeypox was reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, monkeypox outbreaks have been reported in several countries in Africa, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox but are generally less severe. The first symptoms usually appear within 5 to 21 days after exposure to the virus and include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, and swollen lymph nodes. A rash then develops, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.
3. Modes of Transmission
The virus can be transmitted from animals to humans through direct contact with infected animals, such as through handling of infected animals or consumption of their meat. It can also be transmitted from human to human through respiratory droplets, bodily fluids, or skin-to-skin contact with infected persons.
The diagnosis of monkeypox is made through laboratory tests on specimens such as blood, swabs from the mouth or nose, or skin lesions. The tests can identify the virus, which can help in confirming the diagnosis.
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but supportive care can be provided to manage the symptoms. Antiviral drugs may also be used to help shorten the duration and severity of the illness. Most people with monkeypox recover within 2 to 4 weeks without complications.
Prevention measures include avoiding contact with infected animals, wearing protective clothing such as gloves and masks when handling infected animals or their products, and practicing good hygiene such as frequent hand washing. Vaccination against smallpox may also offer some protection against monkeypox.
7. Global Health Concern
The World Health Organization has identified monkeypox as a potential public health emergency because of its ability to cause outbreaks in areas where the population has little or no immunity to the virus. In addition, the virus can be transmitted from person to person, making it a potential threat for global spread.
How Pakistani Health Authorities Are Reacting To The First Few Cases Diagnosed
Pakistani health authorities have taken various measures to contain and control the spread of infectious diseases, such as establishing surveillance systems, increasing public awareness, and implementing vaccination campaigns. According to a recent advisory by the Sindh Health Services Directorate General, hospitals are instructed to create a specific area comprising of five to ten rooms within 24 hours for isolating individuals diagnosed with monkeypox. This area must be equipped with appropriate infection control measures such as negative pressure, hand hygiene facilities, and personal protective equipment to ensure the safety and efficient treatment of patients.
What Should You Do If You Feel You Have Symptoms
If you experience symptoms after being in contact with potentially infected animals, seek medical attention immediately. This will reduce your risk of contracting this rare but potentially serious disease. Moreover, it is also important to inform healthcare professionals of any recent travel history, if applicable, and any known exposure to individuals who have tested positive for the same illness. This can help them to make an accurate diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment.
What Should You Do If Someone In Your Household Is Diagnosed Or, If You Were In Contact With Someone Who Has Been Diagnosed?
If someone in your household has been diagnosed with Monkeypox, it is important to take immediate steps to prevent the spread of the disease to others. This may include wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks, practicing good hand hygiene, and avoiding close contact with the infected person.
If you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Monkeypox, you should monitor yourself for symptoms of the disease, which may include fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash. If you develop any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately and inform healthcare professionals of your potential exposure to the disease.