What is monkeypox and how can you stay safe when it spreads?

“We are ready to take our response to the next level in the fight against this virus, and we encourage every American to take this virus seriously and take responsibility to help fight this virus,” said Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The lesions are usually concentrated on the hands and feet, but in this disease they are more common in the genitals and perianal area.

“Classically, it occurs in the same way as many other viral illnesses, known as the viral prodrome, and symptoms such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, and muscle aches are common. Within five days of the onset of the prodrome, patients develop a rash that looks like acne or blisters,” he said. Dr. Jason Zucker, an infectious disease specialist at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

How is monkeypox spread?

According to the CDC, monkeypox is spread through close contact. This includes direct physical contact with affected individuals, as well as “respiratory secretions” through face-to-face interactions and contact with objects contaminated with monkeypox or contaminated with liquid. The virus can also pass to the fetus through the placenta.
Most cases are sexually transmitted, usually during intercourse. The CDC says research is ongoing into whether monkeypox can be transmitted through semen or vaginal fluids, or whether the virus can be spread asymptomatically.

Who is at risk of monkeypox?

A person who has been in contact with a person who has a rash similar to monkeypox or who has been in contact with a person who has a suspected or confirmed case of monkeypox is at high risk of transmission.

However, a large number of cases of this epidemic have occurred in men who have sex with men, including gay and bisexual men, and public health officials are focusing prevention efforts on this group. The virus is not unique to this community, but the nature of its close-knit spread has led to a disproportionate impact.

“To date, the vast majority of cases of human monkeypox have been self-identified men who have sex with men,” Zucker said.

“It could be related to general sexual networks. So what we’re seeing is that they’re the first to see it and have more cases. Like other diseases, there’s no reason for it to spread to other communities sexually or sexually. Other close contact” , – he said.

According to the CDC, those at high risk during this outbreak include people who “have had skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox on social media,” including men who have sex with men who meet their online partners through an app. at a social event.
According to the CDC, people with weakened immune systems, such as HIV and eczema, and children under the age of 8 can also become severely ill if infected.

What should I do if I have symptoms of monkeypox?

If you notice a new rash or other signs of monkeypox, avoid close contact with other people until you see a doctor and get checked.

“When you see a health care worker, wear a mask and be aware that the virus is spreading in the area,” the CDC says.

If you are diagnosed with monkeypox, the agency recommends staying home and away from family members until the rash or sores go away.

How to treat monkeypox?

According to the CDC, there is no specific approved treatment for monkeypox. But because it is genetically similar to smallpox, doctors may prescribe antiviral drugs.
According to doctors, the possibility of experimental treatment of monkeypox is not the same
The CDC is preparing doses of the antiviral drug teclorimate, called Tpoxx, for patients with monkeypox. This may include those with advanced infections and people with weakened immune systems. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also published research on Tpoxx as a treatment for monkeypox.
According to the World Health Organization, treatment for monkeypox should include efforts to manage symptoms and complications.

Is there a monkeypox vaccine?

There are two vaccines available in the US to prevent monkeypox, but not everyone is eligible to receive it.

The US has a “maturity stock” of the smallpox vaccine ACAM2000, which can also be used to prevent monkeypox. However, it should not be used by people with certain health conditions, according to the CDC.
Experts say changing the way the monkey vaccine is administered could mean a higher dose, but it's not easy.

“We have 100 million doses of ACAM2000,” said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in late June, however, that its side effects mean “in my opinion as a public health person, it’s not worth rolling out to the general population.”

Another vaccine, Jynneos, is specifically designed for monkeypox, but it is not enough. The federal reserve is being distributed to municipalities based on the number of cases and population at risk in a given area.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than 600,000 doses of Jynneos have been distributed from the strategic national stockpile, and another 150,000 doses are expected to arrive in September. The CDC estimates that at least 1.5 million people in the U.S. are eligible for the monkeypox vaccine.
The federal government has proposed changes to the physical delivery of vaccines, which could further expand the current supply.
Jynneos is a two-dose vaccine, with a four-week gap between doses. But given the shortage, some experts have called for a single-dose regimen until supplies improve.

According to the CDC, monkeypox vaccination can be used as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and outbreak response PEP (PEP++).

Some laboratory professionals refuse to draw blood from monkeypox patients, raising concerns about stigma and delays in testing.

PrEP refers to vaccination given to members of high-risk communities, such as laboratory or healthcare workers, before they come into contact with the virus.

PEP means vaccinating people after known exposure to prevent disease or relieve symptoms. For prevention, the CDC recommends that the vaccine be given up to four days after exposure. PEP given after 4-14 days may result in milder disease.

PEP++ is the CDC’s approach to people who have unconfirmed exposure to the virus but have risk factors that make them more likely to become infected.

“Along with self-isolation and other preventive measures when symptoms first appear, PEP++ can help slow the spread of the disease in areas with high incidence of monkeypox,” the CDC says.

Can I get a vaccine?

Monkeypox vaccine is in high demand, but supply shortages and requirements restrictions make it difficult to find at this time.

Testing is essential for monkeypox control, but there is a lack of 'shock' demand

Eligibility for vaccines remains somewhat strict.

Known, confirmed contacts of people with monkeypox are eligible for vaccination. Also eligible are suspected contacts with a sex partner diagnosed with monkeypox in the past 14 days, multiple sexual partners within the past 14 days in an area where monkeypox is endemic, and those whose work may expose them to monkeypox. CDC.

If you think you meet any of these criteria and want to know about your eligibility, contact your doctor or local health department.

How do I keep myself safe?

The CDC recommends avoiding close contact or sharing objects with someone who has monkeypox. It is also recommended to wash your hands frequently.
For social gatherings, including parties, concerts, clubs, and festivals, the CDC recommends wearing more clothing for events where there may be less skin-to-skin contact.
Avoid sex or close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox. The CDC recommends that you avoid touching any rashes that may be on a partner’s body. To help prevent the spread of monkeypox during sex, keeping a distance of 6 feet, wearing clothes during sex, and using condoms and/or gloves can reduce the chance of contracting the disease.

“However, condoms do not protect against all exposure to monkeypox because the rash can appear on other parts of the body,” the CDC says.


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