Monkeypox: What You Need To Know About This Rare Disease
Monkeypox is a rare, but serious virus that can be spread from animals to humans, and from human-to-human. The virus causes fever, and headache.
It is also associated with pox marks that are often accompanied by rashes or redness on the palms of the hands. Is there any way to know if you have It?
You may have never heard of the Disease, but it’s an infection that has been on the rise recently, with cases reported in the United States and other parts of the world.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are so concerned about this rare disease that they have issued travel advisories to affected areas, and they have issued a warning to laboratory workers and healthcare providers to be on the lookout for symptoms of it. (Read about: The Best Supplements to boost your immune system).
So what is it? What are the symptoms? How is it treated? Keep reading to learn more about this rare disease.
What is monkeypox?
It is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. This virus is closely related to the smallpox virus and can cause a similar illness.
It is found primarily in Africa, where it is considered a re-emerging disease. Cases of monkeypox have been reported in other parts of the world, including the United States.
It is a rare viral disease that was first observed in monkeys, then spread to humans. Humans usually contract monkeypox from handling or being bitten by an infected monkey.
It can also be transmitted through contaminated animal products such as meat and furs. The virus has been reported in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.
Human cases of monkeypox can spread from person to person, but it’s very rare. Monkeypox symptoms begin three to 12 days after exposure to an infected animal or contaminated product.
Early symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle aches and backaches. (Read about: The worst food ingredients for your immune system).
Two to four days later a rash will appear on your face and neck that then spreads all over your body.
What are treatment options for monkeypox? There is no specific treatment for monkeypox. People usually recover on their own within two to four weeks.
In cases of severe illness, anti-viral drugs may be used to slow down the spread of virus and relieve symptoms.
A vaccine can prevent infection, but it’s not available in most countries where monkeypox is present.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
The symptoms of monkeypox are very similar to those of smallpox, another disease caused by a related virus. Monkeypox begins with a fever, followed by the development of a rash.
The rash usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. It starts as small red bumps and progresses to larger bumps filled with fluid.
The bumps eventually turn into scabs and fall off. In severe cases, monkeypox can lead to pneumonia, brain swelling, and even death.
As with many other diseases, symptoms can vary from person to person. The most common initial symptoms are fever and headache, followed by a rash that typically starts on the face.
It may then spread to other parts of your body such as your hands and feet. In some cases, people may also experience swollen lymph nodes or sore throat.
However, you might experience fever and other symptoms such as muscle aches, tiredness, chills and a skin rash. Monkeypox usually starts with a fever and headache that can last for several days.
A rash may develop 2-3 days after these initial symptoms and then spread to your palms of your hands or soles of your feet.
The rash may be similar to measles or chicken pox in appearance. Swollen lymph nodes may also occur in some cases.
Some people may also experience a sore throat, tiredness, chills and swollen lymph nodes.
A rash may then develop, which is characterized by small red spots or pimples on your face that can spread to other parts of your body such as your hands and feet. (Read about: How to boost the immune system).
Some people have no symptoms at all, but are still able to spread it to others. So how do you know if you’ve got monkeypox? There isn’t a simple test for monkeypox, so if you think you might have it, your doctor will need to take a sample from one of your lesions wherever they appear and send it off for testing.
The results should be available within 24-48 hours. How long does monkeypox last? Symptoms usually last between 2-4 weeks.
What are the complications associated with monkeypox? If you catch monkeypox, it can lead to serious health problems including blood infection (sepsis), pneumonia and encephalitis.
It’s very rare, but in some cases it can even lead to death. Can I catch monkeypox more than once? Yes although there haven’t been any recorded cases of someone catching more than one bout of it, there is evidence that suggests that some people could be re-infected with another strain of poxvirus in later life.
How do you get monkeypox?
There are two ways that people can get it: through contact with an infected animal or through contact with a person who is infected.
It is most commonly spread through contact with the saliva, blood, or other bodily fluids of an infected animal.
It can also be spread through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, such as through coughing or sneezing.
In rare cases, it has been known to spread through objects that have come into contact with an infected animal or person, such as bedding or clothing.
Monkeypox is contracted by exposure to infected animals or their secretions, such as urine, saliva and other bodily fluids. Humans can also contract monkeypox from another human who has it.
Health care workers should take precautions when treating patients who have come in contact with animals or animal products in countries where people are at risk for exposure to monkeypox because they live near forests where monkeys live. Humans can get very sick with it.
If a human gets it, symptoms can include fever, severe headache, muscle aches, backache and exhaustion.
These are often followed by a rash that spreads all over and lasts up to four days. There may also be swollen lymph nodes in your neck and groin. Most people with it recover completely within two to four weeks without treatment or scars.
But some people have died from monkeypox infections. Who is at risk for the virus? People who travel to areas where monkeypox is found and people who live near forests where monkeys live are at risk of getting infected with monkeypox.
The virus has been found in West African countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Central African countries like Gabon, Congo and Western African countries like Senegal. It has also been found on occasion in other parts of Africa.
How do you prevent getting sick with monkeypox? Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after contact with animals or their secretions. Do not touch dead animals.
Avoid contact with wild animals such as monkeys and squirrels, their saliva, urine or feces. Wash clothes worn during outdoor activities before wearing them again.
Keep pets away from wild animals. Stay indoors when you hear about an animal being sick in your area.
What should I do if I suspect I have monkeypox? Call your doctor right away. Tell him or her about your possible exposure to monkeypox.
Your doctor will examine you and ask questions about where you have traveled recently and whether anyone else in your family has had similar symptoms.
He or she will probably take blood samples from you to test for antibodies against the virus, which means that your body has already fought off infection but left behind evidence of its presence.
How is monkeypox treated?
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but patients can receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
This may include taking pain relievers, getting plenty of rest, and drinking fluids to prevent dehydration. In severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized.
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, so doctors typically treat patients with supportive care to keep them hydrated and comfortable. Many patients recover on their own without any medical intervention.
If you suspect that you have contracted monkeypox, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
However, even if you experience a rash after visiting an area where it is common, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve contracted the virus a rash is just one of several symptoms.
Another condition that can cause rashes on its own or similar to those of monkeypox is chicken pox. Chicken pox, or varicella, is a common viral infection that’s most dangerous for people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women.
Chicken pox and monkeypox are related because they both belong to the same family of viruses known as herpes viruses.
A doctor may prescribe medications to help prevent or treat chicken pox, such as acyclovir, an antiviral drug that can also be used to treat shingles. (Read also: If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma).
Chicken pox and monkeypox are different in some ways, however. For example, people with chicken pox aren’t contagious because they never develop any form of rash.
What countries in Africa does it exist?
It is a rare disease that is found in certain parts of Africa. It is similar to smallpox, but not as deadly.
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but it can be prevented with a vaccine.
It is endemic in Africa and is not a reportable disease in most African countries.
There have been sporadic reports of monkeypox infections in Central Africa, with outbreaks in Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia and Nigeria.
The virus has also been reported in Chad and Uganda. The strain found in humans is associated with outbreaks among non-human primates (NHP) such as monkeys or chimpanzees.
Countries in Central Africa Chad, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, DRC and Gabon have reported cases of monkeypox in humans.
The virus was first reported in humans in 1970. After that time there were sporadic outbreaks until 2001 when there was a large outbreak which spread from Chad to Cote d’Ivoire and into Liberia.
The virus is normally found in monkeys. It does not infect humans easily, but can be passed from human to human by contact with bodily fluids of infected persons. Infected people usually become ill between one and three weeks after exposure to an infected animal or person.
Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache and backache followed by a rash that usually starts on hands and feet before spreading over most of body head, face and limbs.
The disease can also cause internal organ failure including kidney failure and liver damage.
It is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. However, it is very rare, and most people who contract monkeypox recover completely.
If you think you may have been exposed to monkeypox, it is important to see a doctor immediately so that you can be treated properly. With prompt treatment, the chances of recovery are excellent.