North America and Europe have detected several cases of the monkeypox virus in recent days. France, Italy, Sweden and Australia have also reported a few cases of the virus in the past few days. The World Health Organisation has said in a statement that they are coordinating with health officials from these countries over the latest outbreak of the monkeypox virus.
What is Monkeypox Virus?
Monkeypox Virus is a rare viral zoonosis with very similar symptoms to smallpox, although it is less severe. The first case of this virus was reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has emerged as the most important orthopox virus for public health after the eradication of smallpox.
The natural host of the monkeypox virus is unknown but it is believed that non-human primates (like monkeys) or rodents may harbour the virus.
Monkeypox virus can spread from a bite by an infected animal or by coming in contact with their blood, fur or body fluids. Consuming the meat of an infected animal can also be the reason behind the virus’ spread.
The virus also spreads from one person to another through close contact with skin lesions and respiratory secretion.
Signs and symptoms of Monkeypox virus
The symptoms of the monkeypox virus are similar to but less severe than smallpox. In humans, monkeypox usually begins with headaches, body aches, mild fever and exhaustion. However, the major difference between smallpox and monkeypox is that the latter causes the lymph nodes to swell.
The incubation period for the virus is 7-14 days but in some cases, it can extend up to 21 days.
The symptoms of this illness are as follows:
Swollen lymph nodes
Places where monkeypox virus have been detected
This virus is usually found in West and Central African countries. However, in the recent outbreak of the monkeypox virus, several cases have been reported in Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Australia, France and Portugal.
There is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. The patients usually stay in a specialist hospital to prevent the spread of the virus. The general symptoms of the infection like body aches, headaches and fever can be treated with regular medicines.
The US government is using the smallpox vaccine, antivirals and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) to restrict the spread of the virus.
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