Skin rashes and common symptoms such as fever, monkey pox and chicken pox have confused people, but doctors have pointed out that there is a difference in the symptoms of the two viral diseases in patients.
They also recommended to consult a doctor to clear any doubts.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis with symptoms similar to those seen in patients with previous chickenpox, although the disease is less clinically severe.
People are more susceptible to viral infections during the rainy season and chicken pox cases show symptoms like rashes and nausea along with other infections during this season, said Dr Ramanjit Singh, Consultant Dermatologist, Medanta Hospital.
“Due to this situation, some patients get confused and misinterpret smallpox as monkeypox. By understanding the sequence of the disease and the onset of symptoms, the patient can determine if they have monkeypox or not,” said Dr. Ramanjit Singh.
Explaining further, he said that monkeypox usually starts with fever, weakness, headache, sometimes sore throat and cough and lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) and all these symptoms appear four days before skin sores, rashes and other problems. eyes and spreads throughout the body.
Other experts agree that monkeypox has more symptoms than just the skin, but it’s best to see a doctor to rule out any doubts.
Among several recently reported cases, two cases of suspected monkeypox turned out to be chickenpox.
Last week, a suspected monkeypox patient was admitted to Delhi’s Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) with fever and sores, tested negative for the infection but was diagnosed with chickenpox. Similarly, an Ethiopian national who traveled to Bengaluru was tested for mumps after showing symptoms, but his report confirmed that he had smallpox.
India has so far reported four cases of monkeypox – three from Kerala and one from Delhi. Dr. Satish Cole, Director of Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, said, “In monkeypox, the lesions are larger than in smallpox. In monkeypox, the lesions appear on the palms and soles. In chickenpox, the lesions resolve spontaneously after seven. Eight days, but not in monkeypox. In smallpox the lesions are vesicular and pruritic.Dr. Satish Kaul also reported that in monkeypox the fever is prolonged and the lymph nodes in such a patient are enlarged.
Dr SCL Gupta, Medical Director, Batra Hospital, referring to the chicken pox virus, said that chicken pox is a ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus, which is not very severe but causes skin rashes. “It’s chicken pox season. Usually, during the monsoon season, this kind of humidity, rising temperatures, water leaks, dampness and wet clothes all lead to the growth of the virus.
“There is also a religious side to the disease. People treat it as a ‘god’, so such patients are not treated with any medicine. They are kept in isolation and given time to recover,” he said.
Talking about monkeypox, Dr. SCL Gupta explained that such a virus requires an animal host but is self-limiting with sore throat, fever and the usual symptoms of the virus.
“The main symptom of this virus is rashes on the body, including fluids. This leads to a viral infection and weakens the body’s resistance. But problems arise from its complications. In case of any bacterial infection, it causes pus and blisters. “Currently, monkey pox is in the juvenile stage. “There is no treatment. We are only using the isolation method and treating the suspected patient according to his symptoms. If there is a throat infection, we use the common drugs that we usually take. So here we are treating symptomatically,” he said.
Doctors have also received questions about whether a previous chickenpox infection would make a patient immune to monequipox, but the answer is no.
Dr. Rajinder Kumar Singhal, senior director and head of internal medicine at BLK Max Hospital, New Delhi, said both are caused by different viruses, have different routes of transmission, and a previous infection does not confer any protection against a new one. And those who have been vaccinated against smallpox are less likely to get monkeypox, he says.
“The smallpox vaccine was discontinued after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the disease completely eradicated in 1979-80. Those born before 1980. Those who received the smallpox vaccine had fewer cases of monkeypox before 1980. Fewer cases of smallpox. and monkeypox are caused by viruses in the same family,” added Dr. Rajinder Kumar Singhal.
Because of the similarity between smallpox and monkeypox, many countries have allowed the “smallpox” vaccine, but India still doesn’t. “The virus is in its juvenile stage and doctors are still identifying it,” added Dr SCL Gupta.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published on a syndicated channel.)