What is Monkeypox Virus and How You Can Protect Yourself?

what is monkeypox

After COVID-19, another virus is ready to terrorize humanity. Already, the panic has escalated to such level that it has caused thousands to search “What is Monkeypox” on internet. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of this Virus (MPV) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Thus, your concern about the implications of this Virus on your  health  is justified. This article will help you to comprehend the impacts of the Monkeypox Virus, its history, symptoms and prevention.


What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox virus is a zoonotic virus that belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus. The virus that causes smallpox (Variola virus) also belongs to the same genus. West African monkeypox virus and Central African monkeypox virus (Congo Basin) are two types of virus. The West African type is less severe, and the good news is that the current pandemic is also caused by this less severe type.


Is Monkeypox Deadly?

To answer this question, we will have to first analyze its mortality rate. Due to insufficient data, most mortality rate claims are unsubstantiated. Most reliable estimates indicate that the mortality rate is somewhat between 3 and 6 percent. Thus, it can be said that most people will recover quickly. Even if a person gets severe, proper treatment and ministrations can ensure swift recovery.


How Monkeypox Virus Started?

This is not a new virus. It is an old virus that has resurfaced. This virus was first reported in 1958. A number of cases were seen in the 1970s in Western and Central Africa. An outbreak occurred in 2003 in Midwestern countries. The virus is named Monkeypox because it was first discovered in two monkeys kept for research. An explosion has been going on in the United Kingdom since May 2022. 17, 186 cases of Monkeypox have been confirmed as of July 23.


How do you get Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is basically a zoonotic disease. Animals transmit it to humans. These animals include prairie dogs, rodents and monkeys. Some other animals can also be the source of transmission. Human-to-human transmission results when direct contact is made with lesions of infected persons.

Respiratory droplets are also a significant source of viral  information . Cases in Western and Central Africa had been primarily due to zoonotic transmission. It might have occurred either through the handling of animals or consumption of poorly cooked meat of infected animals. About 97% of infected persons have been reported to be homosexual men.


How Long Monkeypox Last?

The incubation period of  Monkeypox  ranges from 4 to 20 days, but it is usually around 12 days. Monkeypox has two stages: a pre-eruptive (Prodromal or pre-rash) stage and an eruptive stage which is characterized by a rash.

Pre-eruptive stage lasts from 1 to 4 days. After 4 days, the eruptive stage starts. The rash begins to appear on the body, particularly in the areas of the trunk, extremities, palms and soles. The rash can last from 2 to 4 weeks.


What Does Monkeypox Look Like?

This virus is characterized by a rash on almost all body parts. However, no inflammation can be observed during the early days of infection. Rash usually occurs within the first 10 days of fever onset. The first site of its appearance is the oral cavity. Later on, it spreads to the face and other areas of the body, such as the palms and soles.

However, in most recent cases, the rash has also been observed in perianal and genital areas. The rash is vesicular, mainly or vesicopustular, containing clear fluid. The diameter of lesions ranges from 3 to 15 mm. Lesions develop in stages over the course of 14 to 21 days.


WHO Monkeypox Pandemic?

Director General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom, declared this disease to be an international emergency on July 23, 2022. The Emergency Committee of WHO held a meeting to discuss the rampaging disease. Out of 15 members, only 6 members thought that Monkeypox should be declared an international emergency.

Tedros went against the majority opinion even though there was no consensus. The reasons he gave included the shocking increase in the number of cases in the last week and the drastic scarcity of vaccines.


How Monkeypox Emerged?

This disease has been around since 1958. However, recent cases are due to the absence of smallpox vaccination. Smallpox has been eliminated from the whole world for the last 40 years. The new generation hasn’t received vaccination against smallpox.

It is found that about 85 percent of Monkeypox infections are prevented by the smallpox vaccine. Hence, due to the lack of smallpox vaccination in the new generation, Monkeypox has resurfaced.


What Are The Symptoms of Monkeypox?

The major symptoms include:

  • Lymphadenopathy (It is characterized by swollen, tender lymph nodes. Lymphadenopathy distinguishes Monkeypox from smallpox and cowpox.)
  • Anorexia (Loss of appetite)
  • Malaise (General feeling of tiredness)
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Myalgia (Muscle Pain)
  • Respiratory symptoms (Pharyngitis, dyspnea, and dry and wet cough.)


How to Prevent Monkeypox?

  • Avoid close contact with people who have any type of rash.
  • Do not share towels and bedding.
  • Use sanitizer and soap regularly.
  • People who have Monkeypox must isolate themselves.
  • Use masks and gloves when contacting infected persons.


Although Monkeypox is of great concern, we must not panic. We should stay in touch with the latest guidelines from the Government and reputable health institutes like World Health Organization (WHO). Creating awareness among the masses about Monkeypox’s symptoms and prevention is the best method to prevent its spread. Please share this article with your friends and family.


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Happy Ending!





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