Monkey pox was first seen in 1958 among laboratory monkeys in Denmark. A few years later, in 1970, the disease spread to humans. The disease has smallpox-like signs and symptoms and is contagious. In May 2022, the outbreak of monkey pox was observed in several different countries and caused concern among the public. How dangerous can this disease be? To know what monkey pox is and learn more about this disease, stay with us until the end.
What is monkey pox?
Monkeypox is a disease caused by the smallpox virus and is considered infectious. The disease can occur in some animals and can even spread to humans. Chickenpox has recently been reported in some African countries, the United Kingdom, the United States and several European countries, and is reportedly on the rise.
History of monkey pox
At the beginning of this article, it is not bad to get acquainted with the history of this disease. Monkey pox was first identified in Denmark in 1959 as an infectious agent in captive mammals (such as zoo animals). The first cases of human pox were reported in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1970. Human monkeypox infection still occurs in the same region of Africa and usually affects children under the age of 10 and people who come into direct contact with infected animals.
But in 2003, cases of monkeypox were first reported in humans outside of Africa. When a total of 71 suspected or confirmed cases of monkey pox were reported in the western United States in patients 1 to 51 years of age with a history of exposure to infected native plain dogs. After controlling the disease at that time, now, after 19 years, cases of human pox have been reported again in some non-African countries, which has caused a wave of concern in various societies.
Chickenpox is a rare disease caused by a virus and is characterized by fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a widespread rash. The rash causes a lot of damage to the skin of the face and limbs. Most cases of monkey pox occur in central and western Africa. The disease is common between humans and animals, meaning that the virus can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa. Smallpox can also be transmitted from one person to another.
How is monkey pox transmitted?
Ways of transmitting monkey pox are:
- Touching hunting meat
- Animal bites or scratches
- Contact with the body fluids of an infected person or animal
- Touching and touching contaminated objects
- Close contact with an infected person
- Eating uncooked meat of infected carnivores or monkeys
The smallpox virus is transmitted to humans through contact with the skin or mucous membranes of infected animals. Also, as far as studies have shown, it can be said that monkey pox is transmitted from human to human through droplets of the respiratory tract
What are the symptoms of monkey pox?
Early signs of the disease include the following, such as colds and flu:
- back ache
- muscles pain
When the fever subsides, skin rashes develop. The rash often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body such as the palms and soles of the feet. Rash caused by monkey pox on the skin can cause itching and pain. It then forms a scab on the skin and then spills. The resulting lesions can cause scarring and scarring. Monkey pox infection usually goes away on its own, but it lasts between 14 and 21 days.
Is monkey pox deadly?
We have explained to you what monkey pox is. In most cases, the disease is mild and has symptoms similar to chickenpox and will go away on its own within a few weeks. However, there have been reports of deaths from the disease in Africa. There are several types of smallpox virus, one of which is said to be fatal and can kill up to 10% of people with the disease.
What is the latency period of monkey pox?
Viral diseases often have a latent or incubating period. That is, it takes some time from the time of infection until the first symptoms appear. The incubation period of monkey pox is reported to be approximately 6 to 13 days. Of course, this time can also vary between 5 to 21 days.
Is there a monkeypox vaccine?
The way to deal with many diseases is to prevent them. Vaccination can be very effective in this regard. Research has shown that the smallpox vaccine can prevent monkeypox infection by up to 85%. Everyone gets the smallpox vaccine as a child. So if they get this disease, they will probably show mild symptoms. It should also be noted that in 2019, the Jynneos vaccine for smallpox for adults was approved in the United States.
How is monkey pox treated?
Unfortunately, there is still no specific treatment for monkey pox. Your doctor will probably help you feel better and try to prevent serious complications by resting, drinking plenty of fluids and over-the-counter medications. To control the spread, doctors can turn to antiviral drugs and the gamma globulin vaccine (made from the blood of people who have recently been vaccinated against smallpox), as well as the smallpox vaccine.
If you have recently been vaccinated against smallpox (in the last 3 to 5 years), you will be protected against monkeypox. Studies show that the 85% smallpox vaccine is effective in preventing monkeypox. There are currently two smallpox vaccines: ACAM2000 and JYNNEOS. In 2019, the FDA also approved JYNNEOS for the prevention of monkey pox.
Both vaccines contain live viruses. ACAM2000 enters the body by piercing the skin and by injection. A small lesion may form on the skin and the virus may grow on it.
Before the wound heals, the virus can spread to other parts of the body or to other people. If you are getting this vaccine, be careful not to spread the virus until the lesion has healed. JYNNEOS is another vaccine that is given twice, 4 weeks apart. There is no risk of spreading the virus when the vaccine is given.
In general, it is best to be vaccinated before exposure to monkeypox, but injecting the vaccine after exposure to the virus may also help prevent or seriously reduce the disease. The CDC recommends that you get the vaccine no later than 4 days after exposure to the monkeypox virus.
But even 14 days after exposure to the virus, vaccination can still reduce the symptoms of monkey pox. If you have been exposed to monkey pox and have not been vaccinated against smallpox in the last 3 years, experts recommend that you get vaccinated again as soon as possible. Smallpox vaccination may cause mild symptoms such as fever, fatigue, swollen glands, and redness and itching at the vaccination site.
Finally, monkey pox is a rare viral disease. The disease is common between humans and animals, meaning that it can be transmitted from animals to humans, but it can also be transmitted from one human to another. The first symptoms of the disease include fever, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes.
As the disease progresses, large, painful pimples form on the face and other parts of the body. These pimples turn into fluid-filled blisters and then dry out and fall off. Acne usually starts on the face and then spreads down the body (usually to the arms and legs). However, any part of the skin can become pimples. Monkey pox mainly occurs in tropical Central and West Africa. If you have recently traveled to these areas, it is important to get screened for monkey pox.
How can monkey pox be prevented?
The best way to prevent smallpox is to get the smallpox vaccine that you probably injected as a child. Other ways to prevent it are:
Avoiding direct physical contact with a person with monkey pox
Use gloves and masks when in contact with an infected person
By observing these cases, the possibility of transmitting monkey pox from an infected person to others will be reduced.
Is smallpox transmitted through sexual intercourse?
According to research so far, it is possible for monkey pox to be transmitted through sexual contact. More research is needed on how monkey pox is transmitted.
Will monkey pox be as prevalent as Covid-19?
Monkey pox is transmitted from human to human through large respiratory secretions. Corona, on the other hand, is not transmissible by air and is only transmitted through close relationships and contacts. It is possible that the virus can also be transmitted through sexual contact. From this day on, you need to be cautious about your relationships. Monkey pox, like Covid-19, is unlikely to become a major problem worldwide.
The difference between monkey pox and chicken pox
The two diseases are different in terms of signs and symptoms:
1- In chicken pox, the skin lesions on the abdomen and trunk are more and on the arms and the ends of the limbs are less. But in monkey pox, the face is affected first and then, in addition to the body, the palms and soles of the feet also suffer from small painful blisters.
2- There is no swelling of lymph nodes in chicken pox. But in monkey pox, swollen lymph nodes appear at the beginning of the disease.