What is monkeypox and should you worry? | monkey smallpox

As monkeys are being identified in countries ranging from the United States to Australia and from France to the United Kingdom, we will look at the situation and whether it is a cause for concern.

What is ape monkey?

Smallpox is a viral infection commonly found in Central and West Africa. Often small clusters or isolated infections are sometimes diagnosed in other countries, including the UK, where the first case was reported in 2018 in an individual believed to be infected in Nigeria.

There are two types of monkey smallpox, the mild West African strain and the more severe Central African strain, or Congo strain. The current international epidemic appears to involve the West African strain, but not all countries have released such information.

According to the British Public Health Agency, early signs of smallpox include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and other symptoms such as fatigue.

“Baking usually starts on the face and can then spread to other parts of the body, including the genitals,” says the UKHSA. “The rash changes, goes through different stages, and the water may look like smallpox or syphilis, eventually the scab appears and then falls off.”

Most patients recover from monkey disease in a few weeks.

what kind spread?

Smallpox is not easily spread among humans and requires close contact. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, human-to-human transmission is thought to be mainly through large respiratory droplets.

“Respiratory drops generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so a face-to-face prolonged contact is required,” the CDC said. “Other methods of human-to-human transmission include direct contact with body fluids or contaminated material and indirect contact with contaminated clothing or material affected by linen.”

Where have the latest cases been found?

Smallpox has been confirmed in recent weeks in at least 12 countries that are not endemic, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, Israel and Australia.

While some cases have been found in people who have recently visited Africa, others have not been found: one of the two Australian cases was in a recent returnee from Europe, and the other was in a recent visitor. To the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, it seems that the incident in the United States happened to a man who recently visited Canada.

In the United Kingdom, there have been cases of monkey disease, and there are signs that it is spreading in the community. So far, 20 cases have been confirmed, the first being registered in a patient who recently visited Nigeria on 7 May.

Not all cases are related, and some are diagnosed in men who consider themselves gay or bisexual, or in men who have sex with men.

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday it was coordinating with European health officials.

Does this mean that monkeys are sexually transmitted?

According to Dr. Michael Head, a senior fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, recent cases may be the first time monkeys have contracted the disease, but sexual intercourse has been documented but not confirmed, and it could happen anyway. The close connection that was important.

“There is no evidence that this is a sexually transmitted virus like HIV,” says Head. “Here, close contact during sexual or intimate activity, including prolonged skin-to-skin contact, may be a major factor during infection.”

The UKHSA advises gay and bisexual men, as well as other communities of men who have sex with men, to avoid unusual rashes or sores on any part of the body, particularly the genitals. “Those who are concerned that they may become infected with smallpox are advised to contact the clinics before the visit,” says the UKHSA.

how can Should We Worry?

The West African strain of monkey smallpox is generally a mild infection for most people, but it is important for those infected and their contacts have been identified. The virus is of particular concern to people with weakened immune systems or vulnerable groups such as pregnant women. Experts say evidence of population growth and community outreach is worrying, and more is expected as public health groups continue to search for connections. However, large-scale epidemics are unlikely. He noted that vaccination of close contacts can be used as part of the “ring vaccination” method.

On Friday, the UK increased its supply of smallpox vaccine, but the more severe virus was eradicated. According to the World Health Organization, “several observational studies have shown that smallpox vaccine is 85% effective in preventing monkey smallpox.” Jab also helps reduce the severity of the disease.

The vaccine has been recommended for high-risk contacts in some cases, including in the UK, but it is unknown how many have been vaccinated.

A UKHSA spokesman said: “It has been recommended to those who need the vaccine.”

Spain is also looking to buy stocks of the vaccine, and other countries, such as the United States, have large stocks.

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