Monkeypox is a disease that is a current topic of concern. role of community in public health The cases of monkeypox is rising across the globe. Monkeypox is a rare disease. It is caused by the monkeypox virus. A person with this disease shows flu-like symptoms and rashes. Monkeypox virus belongs to the family of the orthopoxvirus, the same to which smallpox belongs. This virus was discovered in the year 1958 when two outbreaks of pox-like disease were shown by two monkeys. There are two kinds of monkeypox virus: the first one originated in Central Africa and the second one from West Africa. The current version of this virus causing an outbreak in the world is the less severe West African clade.
How can one get Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is not so easy to spread among people. Only close contact with an infected human, an animal, or a contaminated object is the possible pathway. The maximum number of cases in the 2022 outbreak is due to skin-to-skin contact with a person infected with this virus. The most common cause of the spread of viruses is through international travel as people travel from one location to another. A case of monkeypox was found in 2021 in a U.S. resident who traveled from Nigeria to the united states. Thus, the year 2022 brought outbreaks in areas outside Africa such as Europe, Australia, and America.
Signs and symptoms of Monkeypox
The symptoms take time to show in a person. After weeks of getting exposed to the virus, you might develop symptoms. Some of the signs of monkeypox in the early phase are similar to those in the flu which are:
Swollen lymph nodes
After these signs, your body starts to develop a rash. The rash is developed 1 - 4 days after the flu-like symptoms. Also, some people develop rash directly without showing flu-like symptoms. The rash, in the beginning, is a flat, red bump that is quite painful. The bumps soon change into blisters in which the pus gets filed. In due course, the blisters crust over and fall off. This whole disease can last for a span of two to four weeks.
The rash can be located anywhere on the body such as the hands, feet, neck, mouth, face, and the area near or on genitals i.e. labia, vagina, testicles, penis, or anus. The rash goes through several stages before healing. The rash might look like pimples or blisters and can be painful or itchy.
You might face one or more than one symptoms. In the current outbreak (2022), most cases are not following the usual pattern of symptoms. There are cases in which you are carrying the disease but do not display any symptoms. Such individuals spread this virus to others without even knowing it.
How to prevent Monkeypox?
The vaccine used for smallpox provides coverage for monkeypox but this is still confined to clinical trials. Prevention of a disease is better than cure. The role of the community in public health is to stay safe from disease by taking precautions. Here is a list of steps you should take to reduce the spread of monkeypox:
Eliminate contact with infected animals especially if they are sicj=k or dead
Do not contact with materials like bedding that are contaminated with viruses.
If you are non-vegetarian, then cook animal meat properly ensuring that the meal is well-cooked and no part is left raw
Eliminate contact with individuals who may be infected with the virus
Always practice safe sex and use protection
Wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth when in public places
If you are a healthcare worker who needs to work with monkeypox patients then wear personal protective equipment.
Can monkeypox be treated?
Currently, there is no treatment available for monkeypox virus infection. Although, monkeypox virus and smallpox virus are similar genetically and belong to the same family. It implies that maybe there is a chance that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to offer protection from smallpox might be used to combat monkeypox, i.e. prevention and treatment of monkeypox.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the family of the orthopoxvirus, the same to which smallpox belongs. A person with this disease shows flu-like symptoms and rashes. The rashes are painful in nature. The rash can be located anywhere on the body such as the hands, feet, neck, mouth, face, and genitals. Monkeypox is a self-timed disease and lasts for 2 to 4 weeks. Currently, the fatality ratio of this disease is 3-6%. Currently, there is no treatment available for monkeypox virus infection. Although it can be prevented by taking certain steps.