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Current Affairs

Monkeypox

Date: 10 May 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A case of monkeypox has been identified in the UK in a patient having travel history to Nigeria.

 

Background

Monkey pox disease is similar to smallpox. It is an orthopoxvirus, which is a genus of viruses that also includes the variola virus.

 

Details

  • Monkeypox occurs in countries in Central and West Africa, even though small pox is eradicated globally.

  • Two different strains include the West African and the Congo Basin, also known as the Central African clade.

 

Occurrence

  • The disease was first identified in 1958 following two outbreaks of a pox-like disease in monkey colonies.

  • The first case of human infection was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

  • The disease is prevalent across countries such as DRC, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

 

Transmission

  • Monkeypox disease is transmitted from animal to human. The infection has been detected in squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice, and some species of monkeys.

  • Human to human transmission is very rare. It does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the general public is very low.

  • It spread through contact with bodily fluids, lesions on the skin or on internal mucosal surfaces, such as in the mouth or throat, respiratory droplets and contaminated objects.

 

Symptoms

  • Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, muscle aches, back ache, and exhaustion. It causes swelling in lymph nodes.

  • Incubation period is 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days. Rash starts on the face and spreads to other parts of the body.

 

Mortality and treatment

  • Percentage of people dying from disease has varied between 0 and 11% in documented cases. It is higher among young children.

  • There is no specific treatment. Supportive treatments have to be provided depending on the symptoms.