What is smallpox and what are its signs and symptoms?

Rosamund Lewis, head of the World Health Organization’s emergency response program, told a UN briefing in Geneva on Tuesday:

“It’s an emerging disease. It’s been occurring for the last 20-30 years, (so) it’s not known, it’s very well described,” Lewis told reporters. “Therefore, the risk to the general public seems to be low because we know that the main routes of transmission were as described earlier.”

According to the CDC, cases in other parts of the world other than Africa are usually related to international travel or imported animals infected with smallpox.

There have been several reported cases of monkey disease in the UK no known travel or contact with othersbut there is no cause for concern, U.S. General Surgeon Dr. Vivek Merty made the announcement on CNN’s “New Day” program on Thursday.

“Right now, we don’t want people to worry,” Merty said. “These numbers are still low; we (people) want to know about the symptoms and see a doctor if they have any concerns.”

What are the early signs of smallpox?

According to the CDC, there is an incubation period of seven to 14 days. The initial symptoms are usually similar to the flu, such as fever, chills, fatigue, headaches and muscle weakness, and then lymph node tumors help the body fight infections and diseases.

“The distinguishing feature of smallpox in monkeys is the development of swollen lymph nodes,” the CDC said.

Then there are rashes on the face and body, including the mouth, palms, and soles of the feet.

Painful, raised lenses are pearly and fluid-filled, often surrounded by red circles. According to the CDC, the number of victims will eventually increase and be resolved within two to three weeks.

In the current epidemic, according to the WHO and the CDC, patients are more likely to develop pelvic rash.

“In some cases, in the early stages of the disease, rashes were most common in the genitals and perianal area,” the doctor said. John Brooks, chief medical officer of the CDC’s HIV / AIDS unit, said at a briefing on Monday.

“In some cases, it has caused anal or genital sores similar to other diseases such as herpes, chickenpox or syphilis,” he said.

Monkeys can be infected by anyone, but the CDC is now exposing the ‘big opportunity’ to the LGBTQ community

In the current epidemic, “most cases” have been observed among gay and bisexual men, “but the risk of contracting smallpox is not limited to the gay and bisexual community in the United States. Anyone can develop it.” [and] monkey smallpox spread, ”Brooks said.

Overall, the risk of smallpox in monkeys is moderate for people with multiple sexual partners, but low for the general population, according to a rapid risk assessment report released Monday by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, monkey smallpox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease.

How do monkeys spread smallpox?

Experts say that monkeys need to be in close contact with an infected person in order to spread the smallpox virus.

Neil Mabbot, head of the Department of Immunopathology at the University of Edinburgh School of Veterinary Medicine in Scotland, said the infection could occur “after contact with broken skin, mucous membranes, droplets, infected body fluids or contaminated respiratory flaxseed”.

“Once the wounds have healed, the scabs (which can be caused by an infectious virus) can be spilled into dust and inhaled,” the doctor said. Michael Skinner, a medical student at Imperial College London’s Infectious Diseases Department, said in a statement.

Infection between humans can occur through large droplets in the respiratory tract, and since such droplets typically travel several feet, “long-term face-to-face contact is required,” the CDC said. According to the WHO, this poses a greater risk to anyone who actively infects health workers and household members.
Monkeys' smallpox causes fluid-filled smallpox, which can be contagious until it gets scabies, experts say.
Smallpox, which was eradicated worldwide in the 1980s, is also spread primarily through direct and prolonged face-to-face contact between people, as well as from objects contaminated with infected fluids, bedding or clothing.

“Patients with smallpox became infected after the ulcers appeared. They spread the virus through droplets when they cough or sneeze. They remained infectious until the ulcers healed,” the doctor said. Paritosh Prasad is director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

However, based on available historical data, monkeys appear to be less contagious than smallpox, Prasad said.

“Smallpox can be a serious infection, and in other epidemics the mortality rate from this type of smallpox virus is around 1%. They are most common in low-income areas with limited health opportunities,” said Michael Head, a senior researcher. Global Health at the University of Southampton, UK. There are no casualties from the current epidemic.

However, in the developed world, “it would be unusual to see multiple episodes in any epidemic, and we do not see the level of infection in the (Covid) style,” Hed said in a statement.

According to the CDC, conventional household disinfectants can kill the monkey virus.

How does a monkey treat smallpox?

There are no specific medications to treat smallpox symptoms, so “treatment is generally supportive,” said Jimmy Whitworth, an international health professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“However, there is a vaccine that can be given to prevent the disease from developing,” Whitworth said.

‘High-risk’ people from the U.S. national stockpile of monkey vaccine, the CDC says

In the U.S., a two-dose vaccine called Jynneos is currently licensed to prevent monkey smallpox and can also be used against smallpox. The vaccine was prepared when the disease, which had been eradicated by the U.S. government, was revived.

“We currently have more than 1,000 doses of it and we expect this level to increase rapidly in the coming weeks as the company gives us more doses,” the doctor said. Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the high-risk pathogens and pathologies department at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, told reporters on Monday.

“We hope to distribute the vaccine as much as possible to those who will benefit from it,” McKuiston said. “They are people who have been in contact with people with monkey pox, medical staff, very close personal contacts and people who are at particular risk of contracting smallpox.”

Where did the monkey smallpox come from?

Smallpox got its name in 1958 “when there were two outbreaks of smallpox in monkey colonies reserved for research,” the CDC said.

However, the main carrier of monkey smallpox is still unknown, but “African rodents are suspected of playing a role in the infection,” the agency said.

The first known case of smallpox in humans was recorded in the 1970s during the intensified efforts to eradicate smallpox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the CDC said. Since then, most cases have been concentrated in 11 African countries – several epidemics related to travel or imports from endemic countries in the United States and Europe.

The epidemic broke out in 2003 in six states in the United States – Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin – after forty-seven people became ill from contact with pets, the CDC said.

“The pets became infected after being placed next to small mammals imported from Ghana,” the CDC said. “Human ape smallpox was recorded for the first time outside of Africa.”

CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Nadia Kounang, Jen Christensen, Michael Nedelman, Paula Newton, John Bonfield, Naomi Thomas, Alex Hardy and Benjamin Brown contributed to the report.


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