No sooner had the passions around Covid subsided than the new monkeypox misfortune came. Our article informs you whether you should be afraid of it and how to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Today, doctors know much more about monkeypox than the coronavirus, which surprised the medical community. Is monkeypox dangerous? Can it spread around the world in the near future? Are we facing a pandemic and world quarantine?
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease. It has been known to virologists and epidemiologists since the 1950s, but it was rare. The virus infects animals, and the manifestations of the disease are very similar to smallpox. Moreover, the monkeypox virus is genetically similar to the variola virus. Both of these viruses have existed on our planet for thousands of years. They mutate and adapt to us, and we are studying them.
How is the virus transmitted?
It has now been proven that people can get infected from animals. The first human cases of monkeypox were reported in the Congo. After that, epidemiologists worked in Africa, studied this virus, observed the symptoms, and developed treatment options.
It cannot be said that the virus is highly contagious and spreads rapidly. In ten years after the first cases, only 59 infected people were reported. All patients were in Africa and were in contact with wild animals – rodents (mainly squirrels) and monkeys.
The greatest probability of getting sick occurs when an animal bites or when a human is exposed to the biological fluid of an animal (saliva, blood, urine). A bite causes a more severe disease course than a simple contact.
What is the peculiarity of human-to-human infection?
Today, cases of transmission of the virus from person to person are recorded in the world. This happens by airborne droplets, with close contact with the skin, for example, during sexual contact.
It is impossible to say that it is easy to catch monkeypox. If you just communicate with an infected or sick person, infection will not occur. To get sick, you need to be near the source of the virus in a cramped room without ventilation for three hours. Doctors are now studying similar possibilities of transmission of the virus, as well as the possibility of getting infected during sex.
What are the symptoms of the disease?
There are different scenarios for the course of monkeypox – from mild and asymptomatic to severe symptoms. The disease’s most pronounced symptoms include a rash on the arms and legs. Moreover, the bubbles are very large – up to a centimeter in diameter. The disease is manifested by fever, aching muscles, and sometimes an increase in lymph nodes.
How not to get infected?
Get vaccinated against smallpox. Moreover, you can get a shot with the first signs of monkeypox or in the first four days of the illness. Vaccination reduces the likelihood of a severe course of the disease and death to almost zero. However, monkeypox has a low mortality rate of only 10%.
Besides, do not forget about simple, well-known and effective prevention methods: avoid contact with people who cough, ventilate the premises, wash your hands, do not touch your face with your hands, and visit crowded places less often.