Less than three years after the re-emergence of a virus that brought the entire world to its toes, the World Health Organization has once again told us to be on high alert for a new evil lurking around in the shadows -Monkeypox.
An ongoing outbreak of monkeypox, a viral disease, was confirmed in May 2022.The initial cluster of cases was found in the United Kingdom, where the first case was detected on 6 May 2022 in an individual with travel links to Nigeria (where the disease is endemic).
The outbreak marked the first time monkeypox has spread widely outside Central and West Africa. From 18 May onwards, cases were reported from an increasing number of countries and regions, predominantly in Europe but also in North and South America, in Asia, in Africa, and in Oceania.
On 23 July, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), raising the status of the outbreak to a global health emergency.
This is a huge cause for concern, countries all over the globe are still struggling with the fallout of the last pandemic, the last thing our world needs right now is another pandemic.
Is monkeypox the same as Covid 19?
Except that this fresh evil is of viral origin and was pretty uncommon until recently, there is little connection between covid 19 and monkeypox.
Monkeypox is a previously rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the orthopoxvirus family (smallpox also belongs to this family).
How widespread is monkeypox?
The sudden spike in the number of cases since January is a cause for worry. As at 30 July, there recorded a total of 22,763 confirmed cases. 16016 laboratory-confirmed cases and 5 deaths have been recorded so far from 75 nations in all the 6 WHO regions. Africa has also seen a significant increase in the number of cases since April of this year.
How do you get infected with Monkeypox
2022 monkeypox outbreaks
Monkeypox is a viral infection that manifests a week or two after exposure with fever and other non-specific symptoms, and then produces a rash with lesions that usually last for 2-4 weeks before drying up, crusting and falling off.While monkeypox can cause large numbers of lesions, in the current outbreak, some patients experience only a single lesion in the mouth or on the genitals, making it more difficult to differentiate from other infections. In infections before the current outbreak, 1–3 percent of people with known infections have died (without treatment). Cases in children and immunocompromised people are more likely to be severe.
Monkeypox is most likely primarily spread through close contact, including close contact during sexual activity,but it is not classified as a sexually transmitted disease as it does not require contact with genital fluids to spread.As of 21 July, 98% of reported cases outside endemic regions in Africa occurred in the community of men who have sex with men, particularly those with multiple sexual partners, 75% occured in ethnically white people, and 41% in people with HIV/AIDS.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has emphasized the importance of reducing stigma in communicating about the demographic aspects of monkeypox, specifically with regards to gay and bisexual men.
There’s a higher risk of contracting this virus among children and young adults, pregnant women, and the immunocompromised are
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Common symptoms of monkeypox include progressive rash, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and headache. Recently, the disease has presented with some atypical symptoms like a few or single lesions, anal pain and bleeding, lesions in the Instruments, perineum, and perianal regions, and constitutional symptoms.
How do you manage monkeypox?
•Management of the virus begins with laboratory confirmation of the virus in a patient, effective screening tools are available at diagnostic centers.
•Management of the symptoms that present.
•The use of Tecovirimat (TPOXX), an antiviral drug used for treating smallpox has also been shown to be somewhat effective.
How do you prevent infection? do you prevent infection?
Collective attention and coordinated actions are needed. Public awareness, social distancing, use of face masks, active surveillance, effective contact tracing, early presentation, and vaccination are good places to start. Some vaccines (imvamune/imvanex and ACAM 2000) are available, and others are in different stages of clinical trials.
We all have to take responsibility now to avoid a repeat of the covid 19 ‘drama’. If we have truly
learned anything from the last three years now is the time to put that knowledge to use. Stay safe.