Hi, this is Hot Mike and I’m Nidhi Rajdan.
The Kovid epidemic is not over yet. However, there is a new virus that is causing concern in several countries. Monkeypox has been identified in 14 countries so far, including the United States and the United Kingdom. As of Sunday evening, more than 80 cases had been confirmed in Europe, including Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden and Portugal. The United States, Canada, and Australia have all seen cases, and Israel and Switzerland are the latest countries to confirm cases of rare viral diseases. Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i’ll tell ya. Confirming that community transmission is ongoing. However, the risks to the general public – they say – remain very low, so far mostly found in some urban areas and among gay or bisexual men. Just days before his visit to South Korea, President Biden asked about the outbreak and said that if the virus spreads more widely, it will have consequences. Adding that this is something that everyone should be concerned about. The outbreak has taken scientists by surprise around the world, as monkeys are most common in remote areas of Central and West Africa. So what do we know about monkeypox?
Well, according to the World Health Organization or WHO, monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforests in central and western Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions. Early symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, swelling and back pain. Patients usually develop a rash one to three days after the onset of the fever, often starting at the mouth and then spreading to other parts of the body, such as the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet. The rash, which can cause severe itching then scabs the wound and goes into several stages before falling off. Symptoms can last anywhere from two to four weeks. There could also be serious illness, with the death rate currently hovering around three to six percent. The WHO states that monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal or through material contaminated with the virus. The virus can enter the body through broken skin, respiratory tract or eyes, nose and mouth. Human-to-human transmission usually occurs through respiratory tract infections. Although this usually requires long-term face-to-face communication. Infection from animals to humans, meanwhile, can occur through bites or scratches. Monkeypox is not generally considered a sexually transmitted disease, but it can spread during sex.
The clinical presentation of monkeypox is similar to smallpox, a related infection that was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980. But monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox. And causes less serious illness. Vaccines used during the smallpox eradication program also provide protection against monkeypox. Although there is still no specific vaccine for monkeypox, several countries have now begun stockpiling smallpox vaccines, which are about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. Countries including the United Kingdom and Spain are now offering their vaccines in order to reduce their symptoms and limit the spread of the virus.
The human monkeypox was detected in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1968 in a nine-year-old boy where smallpox was eradicated in 1968. Since then, most cases have been reported from rural rainforests in the Congo Basin, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and increasingly reported from people across Central and West Africa. Since the 1980s, humankind incidents of monkeypox have been reported in 11 African countries, but its true meaning is unknown. In 2003, the first outbreak of monkeypox outside Africa was detected in the United States and was linked to contact with infected pet prairie dogs. These pets were kept with Gambian pouched rats and dermis which were imported into the country from Ghana. The outbreak has led to more than 70 cases of monkeypox in the United States. Other previous cases were reported in Israel, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.
Both the US Center for Disease Control and Infection and the UK Health Security Agency recently said they were investigating a number of cases, including those that identified themselves as men who had sex with men and called for gay and bisexual men. Especially be aware of any abnormal rashes or sores. There is currently no proven safe treatment for monkeypox, although in most cases it is mild and it is treated symptomatically. The WHO says recent outbreaks are unusual because they occur in countries where the disease is not endemic. Scientists do not really know why this outbreak is happening at the moment. One theory is that the virus may have changed or evolved, but again, no specific research has been done on a new variant. Another reason cited may be that the spread of monkeypox is much easier than when the smallpox vaccine was widely used in the past.
The WHO warns that the infection could accelerate during the summer season as people gather at festivals and parties. No monkeypox cases have been reported in India so far, but the health ministry says it is keeping a close eye on the situation.