Monkeypox: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Spread, and Treatment

Monkeypox is caused by a virus closely related to smallpox, although Smallpox has been eradicated from Earth, its variant named “Monkeypox” still infects, and spreads. Monkeypox was first discovered in the year 1958 in the captivity of Monkeys kept for research work, and the virus was first detected in humans in the year 1970.

Monkeypox was an Endemic in the African Continent, with the majority of cases in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and parts of Central and Western Africa.
Over the years several cases were detected in all parts of the world, but only related to travel history from African countries, with a majority from Nigeria.

Monkeypox and Smallpox, both are the members of Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.

Monkeypox: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Spread, and Treatment
Monkeypox: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Spread, and Treatment

Symptoms:

  1. Fever.
  2. Headache.
  3. Muscle ache.
  4. Backache.
  5. Swollen Lymph Nodes.
  6. Feverish Chills.
  7. Feeling Exhausted.
  8. Rashes on Skin (concentrated on face)

The rash consists of lesions that evolve in the following order:

  1. Macules (Flat discolored lesions)
  2. Papules (Slightly raised lesions)
  3. Vesicles (Bumps with clear fluid)
  4. Pustules (Bumps with yellowish fluid)
  5. Scabs

The Symptoms usually appear within 13 to 15 days, and with the days passing the rashes might grow and form scabs that will fall off the skin, and in some cases, a large section of skin can be dropped off.
Symptoms may take up to 24 to 25 days to appear in children.

Diagnosis:

Monkeypox Virus is an orthopoxvirus that produces antigens as well as antibodies and may sometimes appear similar to other viruses such as Corona Virus, and hence can be confused in the process of diagnosis, hence PCR testing is advisable

Spread:

The spread of Monkeypox is not as contagious as Corona Virus, but still, it has a high potential of human-to-human spread through physical touch, living in close proximity, through fluids or droplets, and through blood transmission.

Treatment:

Currently, there is no particular effective treatment for Monkeypox, as suggested by the World Health Organization, but there are vaccines to fight the Orthopoxvirus, which can be used in the treatment of Monkeypox.
Also, the first smallpox vaccine is said to be extremely effective, but the first generation smallpox vaccines are no longer available on the planet as their production vanished with the smallpox virus.
New vaccines, which are clearly alternatives to the effectiveness needed were authorized in 2019, but are not widely available.

Monkeypox is usually misunderstood as Chickenpox or measles, and in some cases, it is also misunderstood as a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), which can be clarified with proper diagnosis at designated health centers.

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