Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus which belongs to the orthopoxvirus genus in the family of poxviridae.
The first discovery of monkeypox was in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-liked disease occurred in the colonies of monkeys, hence the name, “monkeypox.”
The first case of monkeypox in humans was recorded in 1979 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in a 7-year-old child.
Monkeypox is of global health importance as it not only affects countries in Africa but the whole world.
The first announcement of monkeypox outside Africa was in the United States of America when it was linked with infected pet prairie, those dogs had been housed with Gambian poached rats and dormice that had been imported from Ghana into the United States.
The transmission of monkeypox is in a zoonotic form(animals to humans) and can occur from direct contact with the blood and body fluids of infected animals.
Aside from animal transmission, monkeypox can be transmitted via human to human transmission and can result from close contact with respiratory secretion and akin lesion of an infected person.
Health workers are at greater risk of contracting the virus through transmission via droplets of respiratory particles which can be a result of prolonged face-to-face contact.
Transmission could also be through mother to child, from placenta to fetus, or close contact during and after child birth
Signs of monkeypox
Monkeypox starts from an incubation period which is usually 6-13 days or 5-21 days.
Within 0-5 days which is the invasion stage, a Carrier may have signs of headache, fever, back pain muscle ache, and fatigue.
Within 1-3 days of fever, sink eruption begins to occur especially on the face more than other parts of the body.
Monkeypox usually has a severe effect on children which is a result of the virus exposure.
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Monkeypox has no vaccination yet, but vaccination against smallpox is proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox.
Since there is no readily available vaccination, people can pay attention to these preventive measures:
- Health workers should implement standard infection control precautions, especially when caring for parties with suspected monkeypox virus.
- Samples taken from people and animals should be handled by trained health staff In a suitably equipped laboratory.
- Foods containing animal meat or animal parts must be thoroughly cooled.
- Unprotective contact with animals must be avoided.
- Animals that might have come in contact with an infected virus should be quarantined.
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