Monkeypox, a rare viral disease usually found only in Africa, is spreading to people in many parts of the world.
Scary disease is spreading
Over the weekend, Germany became the next country to record a case of monkeypox in the territory. This is the latest European country to add its name to the list of countries that have detected the dreaded disease, along with the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Sweden.
In the UK alone, the number of cases has doubled since the first case was recorded on May 7. This country currently has 20 recorded cases. However, it is feared that the number of cases may be higher because it has not been detected.
The US and Australia this week also recorded their first cases. Leading medical experts are trying to figure out how a rare disease, which has often appeared in Africa before, has been able to have such a strong outbreak.
While some cases have been linked to travel to Africa, recent infections are believed to have spread in the community, increasing the risk that the outbreak could spread further.
The US CDC and the UK’s Infectious Diseases Control Agency (UKHSA) are investigating a range of cases, including gay men, and recommend that these cases self-examine their bodies for early recognition. rash or other unusual lesions.
Those with symptoms such as rash and fever are recommended to seek medical help and to contact clinics before visiting.
Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at UKHSA, said: “These latest cases, along with reports of other cases across Europe, confirm our initial concerns that smallpox was present. monkeys can spread in our community.”
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the virus of the same name. It is related to smallpox but is usually less severe. The disease usually occurs in remote, isolated areas of Central and West Africa. Scientists first detected the virus in captive monkeys in 1958. The first human case was reported in 1970.
Early monkey disease recurred in Nigeria in 2017 after four decades with no confirmed cases. As of May 2022, 450 cases have been recorded in the country. Also since 2017, sporadic cases have been recorded in 10 African countries. Cases outside of Africa were previously less common, often involving travel or imported animals. There were also cases recorded in Israel, the UK, Singapore and the US in 2003.
How is this disease spread?
Monkeypox is spread when someone comes into close contact with a person, animal, or material contaminated with the virus. The virus can enter the body through open skin, the respiratory tract, or through the eyes, nose, and mouth. Although this disease is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, it can be transmitted through this route.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
The initial symptoms of monkeypox are fever, headache, muscle pain, swelling, and back pain. Patients usually develop a rash 1 to 3 days after the fever, which usually begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body, such as the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
The rash can cause intense itching, then goes through several stages before scabbing and falling off. Infected people usually suffer from symptoms for 2 to 4 weeks and usually resolve on their own.
How is the treatment?
There is currently no safe and proven effective treatment for monkeypox, although most cases of the virus have only mild symptoms.
People suspected of having the virus should be treated in isolation in a negative pressure room. Healthcare professionals need specialized protective gear.
However, the smallpox vaccine is believed to be effective in stopping the monkeypox virus. In the UK and Spain, smallpox vaccine has been given to patients with monkeypox to reduce symptoms and limit spread.
How dangerous is monkeypox?
Cases of monkeypox are usually less severe, but a few deaths have been reported in West Africa. However, the health agency stressed that the risk of a serious outbreak is unlikely and the risk to the public remains very low.
“While investigations are continuing to determine the source of infection, it is important to emphasize that it is not yet contagious between people, but it is important to keep a distance from people who have symptoms,” said Colin Brown, leader of the Department of Health and Human Services. UKHSA director, said.
Health authorities in the UK, US and Canada advise people with a rash or concerns about monkeypox to contact their healthcare provider. They are also advising any close contacts of the cases, including healthcare workers.
Although this disease does not seem to cause mass death, the terrible scars it leaves on the victim’s body, including the face, can become a lifelong obsession for those affected.