Monkey pox is caused by the virus – MONKEY POX VIRUS.The virus was first discovered in a group of monkeys used for research. It belongs to the same family as small pox.
In Africa the virus can be found in many species including squirrels, rats, mice, primates. . .
Monkey pox can be gotten from a bite, scratch or direct contact with blood, bodily secretions or skin / mucosal lesions of infected animals. Also from eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals. Close contact with respiratory secretions or skin lesions of an infected person or objects they’ve contaminated. Mother to baby transmission can occur via the placenta.
The time from infection to appearnce of symptoms is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.
It begins with:
▪Swollen lymph nodes (not seen in smallpox)
1-3 days after the onset of fever, a rash develops which typically begins from the face and spreads to the rest of the body.
The rash starts of flat then becomes like a small pimple later a boil and ends up as a crust.
Viruses are self limiting and it typically last for 2 – 4 weeks.
How severe it becomes depends on the :
▪Age of the patient (commoner in children because their immune system is developing)
▪Extent of virus exposure Patient’s health status
▪Severity of complication ( if left unhospitalized can be fatal )
Diagnosis is via identification of the virus through tests done in a laboratory.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine for monkey pox. Although ‘ vaccine against small pox has been proven to be 85 % effective ‘ but its not readily available since smallpox has been eradicated. ‘ Nevertheless prior smallpox vaccination will result in milder disease ‘
How to keep yourself and your family safe
WASH YOUR HANDS! ! !
Regular hand washing with soap and water especially after caring or visiting sick people. And if you can’t get water use alcohol hand based sanitizer in the interim.
Avoid close physical contact with individuals suspected to be infected.
ALL SUSPECTED CASES SHOULD BE REPORTED TO THE RELEVANT AUTHORITIES.
Ensure that all animal products are adequately cooked before consumption.
Protective clothing when handling infected animals and suspected cases should be quarantined, handled with standard precautions and reported to the relevant authorities.
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