The outbreak of Monkey pox is nothing new as it has gotten to almost every continent of the world. One thing you should know is that this disease did not start today, it has existed for a long time but it is not a permanent disease.
Monkey pox is a disease from the orthopoxvirus genus in the family poxviridae. It was first discovered in 1958 when some monkeys from the colonies of monkeys kept aside for research purpose started showing some signs of the disease. After its detection in animals, it later moved to the human body but that didn’t happen until 1970 when an African country (Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo which is also called Republic of the Congo, DRC) reported the outbreak of the disease in a human. It was discovered in the body of a 9-year old boy.
This article will give you more information about causes and treatment of Monkey Pox. Aside it giving you all you need to know about the causes and treatment of monkey pox, you will also get to know of the preventive measures you should take from getting it and how to live and go about your daily endeavours if you contact it.
Monkey pox appears to be similar to small pox and chicken pox but they are all different, it is rare to find and it causes visible rash on the body of its carrier. Monkey pox can stay for weeks without being treated and after which, it dies off by itself. Though it spreads from affected animal to humans, it could also spread from an infected human to another human.
What Are The Symptoms Of Monkey Pox?
Bleeding on the lower part of the large intestine
Inflammation of the anus
Swollen lymph nodes
Rash. The rash starts as a painful red bumps and with time turns into a blister filled with pus.
Rash on the face, inside the mouth, genitals, hands, feet and anus.
Aside the rash being on the face, genitals, hands, mouth, and anus, it can also be found on any other part of the body. Some people experience only rash as a symptom while some experience all. A person who contacts monkey pox will start showing the symptoms after 1-2 weeks of contacting it.
Monkey pox is in different stages, in the first stage which is known as the incubation stage, the symptoms don’t show and at this stage you cannot transmit it to someone else. The next stage is the prodrome stage and it is at this point that you start seeing the first symptom or the first set of symptoms on your body, at this stage you may pass it on to someone and you may not. A rash finally appears after you have gotten a fever and as for those with severe cases, the rash first starts with a red bump on the face. It is usually flat, round and with time the rash or rashes grow into a slightly raised bumps and from there it grows into bumps that are filled with fluid. Shortly after this, the bumps are filled with yellowish fluid(pustules).
How Do I Diagnose Monkey Pox?
Polymerase Chain Reaction(PCR): This is a well known way of diagnosing monkey pox. In PCR, samples are taken from skin lesions and are sent to the laboratory, the samples are taken with tissue.
Blood Sample: The blood sample enables the doctor to check for the virus in your system.
How Is Monkey Pox Treated?
Monkey pox vaccine:
This should be given within four days of exposure to the disease.
This is a well known vaccine for monkey pox, however, it should not be administered to those with weak immune system and those with some skin conditions like eczema and atopic dermatitis. It should also not be given to babies who are less than 12months, pregnant women and people with cardiac arrest. ACAM 2000 could cause reactions like rash, swelling, fever and pain.
This is another popular treatment for monkey pox, it is an attenuated live virus vaccine that is administered subcutaneously in two doses and it is done four weeks apart. JYNNEOS should not be administered to people who are allergic to egg protein, this is because the medication itself has component of egg protein in it. It should also not be given to people who are allergic to ciprofloxacin.
This is an antiviral drug which should be used for those with severe symptoms or those with life threatening illness . The drug has been effective in fighting against orthopoxvirus in animal. Cidofovir is used to treat cytomegalovirus retinitis in patients with AIDs too.
It is an antiviral drug that should also be given to those with severe cases of the disease especially if the person has a weak immune system. Tecovirimat was approved for the treatment of small pox in 2018. It has been approved by the American Food and Drug Administration after studies were conducted in infected animal, it is available in intravenous formulation and in oral form too.
Even after taking any of these vaccines, do not expose yourself to the virus as the chances of getting it is high.
Preventive Measures You Should Take To Avoid Monkey Pox
Since monkey pox can spread through sores, blood or bodily fluid, avoid coming in contact with an infected person.
Cook all meats thoroughly
Stay away from pets especially rodents
Cover your injuries
Avoid coming in contact with contaminated beddings and clothings and also avoid contaminated animals.
Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when treating a patient with monkey pox
If you have it, isolate yourself or use mask in order to stop the spread
Avoid sexual intercourse with an infected person.
Aside monkey, the disease can also be found in sun squirrel, African rodents, prairie dogs and rope squirrel too. It affects a particular animal specie but can spread to other species.
Complications Associated with Monkey Pox
Monkey pox can result to complications for those with an underlying disease. A malnourished patient or a patient with lung problems could get complications like dehydration and pnuemonia. Other complications patients with a weak immune system or an underlying health issue may have are:
Sepsis is a sickness that occurs when chemicals released in the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger an extensive inflammation. Sepsis can result to changes that damage multiple organ systems and it is life threatening so it requires urgent medical attention. There are three stages of sepsis. Some symptoms of sepsis include chills, fever, shortness of breath, pain, confusion, low blood pressure, etc.
This is an inflammation of the brain due to infection, the infection is spread by animals or insects. It is caused by autoimmune inflammation, bacterial infection, viral infection, insect bites and in some cases there are no specific cause. It can also be life threatening.
This is a type of pneumonia that affects the alveoli in the lungs as well as the bronchi. It is common in children and can lead to death if not treated especially if the child is less than the age of 5.
A severe monkey pox can lead to all these illnesses stated above and can also result to an eye infection.
Monkey Pox and Pregnancy
According to thee World Health Organization, it is very possible for a pregnant woman to pass the disease to her baby while the child is still in the womb and this transmission is aided by the placenta. Monkey pox in a pregnant woman can also put the baby at risk and might result to the baby being a stillborn or the woman having a miscarriage.
Are Monkey Pox, Chicken Pox and Small Pox the Same?
No, they are all different. Monkey pox is less contagious when compared to chicken pox that is highly contagious. The sores that appear in monkey pox develop the same time but this is not so for chicken pox as the rash appears in waves. Another difference between monkey pox and chicken pox is that while monkeypox is an orthopoxvirus, chickenpox on the other hand is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
The symptoms of monkey pox are similar to that of small pox but they are milder and also, vaccines used to prevent small pox can also be taken for the prevention of monkey pox. Monkey pox and small pox both belong to orthopox virus genus.
Monkey Pox is not fatal and it lasts for about 2-4 weeks, the rash can heal on its own. This year, monkey pox has been discovered in countries like Australia, Spain, USA, Sweden, Belgium, France, Canada, Germany, UK, Netherland and Italy. African countries that have recorded monkey pox cases before include: Benin, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Liberia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Côte d’ivoire and Nigeria. Some of these countries are still reporting it till date and an example of such countries is Nigeria.
If you have monkey pox you cannot donate blood, cells, tissue, semen, organ or even breastmilk.
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