UPDATE ON OUTBREAK: 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE MONKEYPOX VIRUS
1). Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus and it is a very rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is less severe.
2). The primary route of infection is thought to be from contact with the infected animals or their bodily fluids or through a bite.
3). Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests and is currently affecting Bayelsa state residents in Nigeria.
4). Human monkeypox can be difficult to distinguish clinically from smallpox (to which it is closely related) and chickenpox (it is not related to).
5). The virus was first discovered in monkeys (hence the name) in 1958 ,but in its natural state it seems to infect rodents more often than primates (humans), in the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, during an investigation into a pox-like disease among monkeys, and in humans in 1970.
6). Smallpox was eradicated in 1980. However, monkeypox still occurs sporadically in some parts of Africa.
7). Transmission: The virus is transmitted usually from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus through and/or by direct contact with body fluids or wound material, or indirect contact with wound material, such as through contaminated bedding.
8). Treatment: There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for monkeypox infection, but outbreaks can be controlled. Nevertheless, prior smallpox vaccination will likely result in a milder disease course. Other forms of treatment include; observing standard precautions, isolating patients, administering antiviral etc
9). Prevention: Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox in the past but the vaccine is no longer available to the general public after it was discontinued following global smallpox eradication.
10). Symptoms: The disease includes severe headaches, fever, back pains and the most frightening of all which is usually the rashes and they are bigger than chicken pox.
An advise to the general public is to observe good hygiene practices and ensure you don’t come in contact with dead animals or their secretions and that the virus is also spread airborne.
- How to not catch the virus includes; observing good hygiene practices and ensuring you don’t come in contact with dead animals or their secretions and that the virus is also spread airborne.
- Avoid contact with infected persons and the forest.
- Nigeria has just been hit with her first case of the Monkeypox Virus
- Currently there have been 12 official cases reported by the NCDC and 49 other persons who are said to be associated with the infected persons in Bayelsa State after the virus recently hit Nigeria.
- For travelers and visitors, ensure that you observe sanitary hygiene practices while within or around the environs.