What does Monkeypox virus refer to, and what are its causes and treatments?
- What is Monkeypox virus, and what are the causes and treatments?
- Description of Monkeypox
- How common is Monkeypox viruses:
- Where else is Monkeypox found:
- Who does Monkeypox virus affect
- Symptoms and Causes
- Signs and symptoms of Monkeypox viruses:
- How do you catch Monkeypox:
- How is Monkeypox diagnosed:
What is Monkeypox virus, and what are the causes and treatments?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the orthopoxvirus family. It leads to the development of a rash and flu-like symptoms, similar to smallpox.
Description of Monkeypox
Monkeypox was first identified in 1958 during two outbreaks of smallpox-like disease in research monkeys. The virus is primarily transmitted through contact with infected rodents, although it can also spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. There are two known groups of monkeypox viruses, one originating from Central Africa and the other from West Africa. The current global outbreak in 2022 is caused by the less severe West African clade.
How common is Monkeypox viruses:
Monkeypox is a rare disease primarily found in Africa, but cases have been reported in other parts of the world. It presents with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, and a rash that can take several weeks to resolve. While there is no proven cure for monkeypox, it typically resolves on its own.
Where else is Monkeypox found:
Historically, monkeypox was predominantly observed in Africa. However, sporadic cases have occurred in other countries, including the United States. The first outbreak outside Africa occurred in the U.S. in 2003 when infected animals from Ghana were imported into Texas, leading to transmission to domesticated prairie dogs and subsequent infection of 47 individuals in the Midwest. With increased international travel, monkeypox has now spread beyond Africa, affecting regions such as Europe, the Americas, and Australia.
Who does Monkeypox virus affect
Monkeypox can affect anyone, with the majority of cases in Africa occurring in children under the age of 15. Outside Africa, the disease appears to be more common in men who have sex with men, although there are cases that do not fit this pattern.
Symptoms and Causes
Monkeypox progresses through five stages, each characterized by specific visual symptoms:
Stage 1- Macule: The rash begins as flat, red spots lasting 1-2 days.
Stage 2- Papule: The spots become raised bumps lasting 1-2 days.
Stage 3- Vesicle: The bumps enlarge and resemble blisters filled with clear fluid lasting 1-2 days.
Stage 4- Pustule: The blisters fill with pus lasting 5-7 days.
Stage 5- Scabs: The spots crust over, forming scabs that eventually fall off within 7-14 days.
Signs and symptoms of Monkeypox viruses:
Following exposure, symptoms of monkeypox typically appear after several days to a few weeks. Early symptoms resemble those of the flu and may include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. A rash often develops a few days later, starting as flat, red bumps that can be painful. These bumps progress into blisters filled with pus, which eventually rupture and form scabs. Some individuals may also experience sores in the mouth, vagina, or anus. It is important to note that not all individuals with monkeypox exhibit all symptoms, and some cases in the current outbreak deviate from the usual pattern.
How do you catch Monkeypox:
Monkeypox virus is primarily transmitted through contact with infected animals or individuals. Animal-to-person transmission occurs through broken skin, such as bites or scratches, or direct contact with an infected animal’s blood, bodily fluids, or sores. Person-to-person transmission is less common and typically occurs through contact with an infected person’s sores, scabs, respiratory droplets, or oral fluids, often in close and intimate situations. The exact transmission route through semen or vaginal fluids is still being studied. Additionally, contact with contaminated materials, such as clothing and bedding used by infected individuals or animals, can also lead to infection.
How is Monkeypox diagnosed:
Monkeypox is typically a self-limiting disease, with symptoms resolving within two to four weeks. Most cases do not require treatment and improve on their own. Healthcare providers may monitor the condition, manage symptoms, prevent dehydration, and administer antibiotics if secondary bacterial infections occur. Currently, there is no approved antiviral