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Monkeypox has spread to 20 countries, should you be afraid?

Monkeypox virus has been making rounds around the world with over 130 confirmed cases and 100 suspected ones. Experts noted that the outbreak could have been contained and the event is random, however sexual activities in rave parties in countries like Belgium and Spain has likely sparked the spread in Europe.

The world had already been suffering due to Covid-19 pandemic since the last two years and another outbreak such as the Monkeypox virus has struck panic and fear amongst the public.

What exactly is this disease?

The disease is caused by Monkeypox virus and is part of same family of smallpox however it is less severe. This disease is quite rare and is mainly confined within Africa. It probably originated in parts of Western and Central African countries in the late 1950s. First observed in a human in 1970. In 2017 there was a huge outbreak in 10 African countries. Back then 60 confirmed and 170 suspected cases were reported. Most of the patients ranged within the ages of 20-40. Again in 2003, 80 cases were reported in USA, UK, Singapore and Israel, these which spread due to infected prairie dogs.

However, recent outbreak has been reported in countries like Germany, UK, Portugal, Spain, France, Sweden, Italy and many other countries.

How does it spread?

It can spread through respiratory tract, damaged skin or through nose, mouth and eyes. Mostly spreads when a person comes in contact with another animal, person or material. Animal to human contact may happen due to biting or scratching. And in humans via close face contact or sexual activities.

What are its symptoms?

Fever, muscle ache, headache, backpain and swelling are the initial symptoms. A rash is also developed within 1-3 days of getting infected. Beginning on face and spreading to other body parts.

How to treat?

There are no proven treatments currently, most of the cases are mild and not life threatening. The infection mostly lasts for four weeks and treats on its own. Patients need to be isolated. Smallpox vaccines could largely prevent the infection.

How dangerous is the outbreak?

Some deaths have been reported in Africa historically, however health authorities have assured that the outbreak’s threat level is low. They further advised the general public to seek medical attention if any kind of rash is developed.

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