What you need to know about monkeypox
There is a new information guide available, and it focuses on monkeypox, which is an issue that is gaining force in Western media. And if we have this disease looming somewhere near the end of the news blocks, it will move straight to the top pages in both the United States and Europe.
But in any case, what exactly is it? Is the newly formed Covid in a hurry to take control of the world? Let’s look at it from the perspective of regular folks so we can figure it out.
One may conclude that the word “monkeypox” is an informal nickname for the disease commonly used in the media. Monkeypox is caused by a pox virus, which belongs to the same family as the agents that cause smallpox, pustular dermatitis, and other disorders. There is nothing paranormal about this disease, and its symptoms are very similar to those of cowpox, smallpox, and other diseases of the same genus and family. On the other hand, the virus that causes monkeypox is neither a direct ancestor nor a direct descendant of the virus that causes smallpox.
Although this condition is commonly referred to as “monkeypox,” it is not transmitted by monkeys. It’s simply that the analysis of these animals led to the discovery of the virus’s initial human cases when it was being looked for in other animals. Since it was first discovered in rats, the condition should more accurately be referred to as “rat pox.”
There is no connection between monkeypox and coronavirus
The sudden appearance of monkeypox in the information space prompted an overwhelming number of inquiries right away. The prospect of receiving a vaccination against coronavirus to protect oneself against a new disease is one of the most frequently asked questions. Let’s get this out of the way: there is no way that this could happen because the Covid-19 virus and monkeypox share no characteristics in common. Suppose an enclosed virus causes the coronavirus with single-stranded RNA that is a member of the subgenus Sarbecovirus of the genus Betacoronavirus. In that case, monkeypox is a zoonotic virus that has double-stranded DNA and is a member of the subgenus Chordopoxvirinae of the family Poxviridae.
This disease has been around for a while
When the media saw that the issue would generate a lot of buzz, they started promoting it because they were afraid of missing the information guide, similar to what happened with the coronavirus at the end of 2019. People are talking about monkeypox as if it were something brand new, exceedingly hazardous, and even more severe than the coronavirus. But is this the case?
According to the World Health Organization, the disease known as monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in a 9-month-old boy in a region where smallpox had been eliminated in 1968. After that, instances of monkeypox were regularly recorded in the rainforests of the Congo River basin and West Africa. Furthermore, between 1996 and 1997, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) saw a severe outbreak of this illness.
This condition has not been linked to any new developments, which is positive. At the very least, scientists are already familiar with this disease and have been working on a vaccine against it for a long time, so it is not expected that the scientific community will be mobilized with work that goes on nonstop for 24 hours without stopping for sleep, as was the case with Covid-19.
What kind of risk did the coronavirus pose, and why did it fast spread to millions of people all across the world? The important thing is that it is spread through the air through droplets. In order to become infected with the Covid-19 virus, all that was required was a brief contact with a patient who was ill with the disease.
When it comes to monkeypox, the scenario is noticeably more favourable. The virus can be passed from an animal to a person either by a bite or through direct contact with bodily fluids. Both of these methods are capable of transmitting the virus. It is conceivable for an infection to be spread from one person to another by transmitting airborne droplets. Still, there must be extremely prolonged personal contact for this to occur.
Because of the widespread vaccination campaign that began in the 1960s worldwide, people living in the 21st century are not familiar with the symptoms of smallpox. We should attribute this success to the vaccine effort. Because of this, humanity was able to prevail over the disease known as smallpox.
Concerning monkeypox, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that the symptoms can be broken down into two stages. The initial stage, known as the invasion period, often lasts between 0 and 5 days and is marked by symptoms such as fever, severe headache, swollen lymph nodes, back pain, muscle discomfort, and general weakness. The second stage is known as the period of rashes on the skin, and it begins anywhere from one to three days after the onset of fever. During this stage, rashes appear on the body in the form of tubercles filled with yellow fluid. After approximately ten days, these tubercles are covered with crusts, and they completely disappear after three weeks.
You can’t keep monkeypox secret
Contrary to the coronavirus, it will not be smart enough to hide monkeypox, which might be cleverly disguised as a mild cold or allergy. As was just said, one of the symptoms of this illness is the development of rashes. The problem is that they emerge on the face 95 percent of the time and the palms and feet 75 percent, which means they appear in the most noticeable places on the body. Therefore, an infected individual can’t conceal that they are infected, regardless of how hard they try.
The risk of death from monkeypox is quite low
In comparison to smallpox, its incidence is fairly low; nonetheless, it is higher than that of the coronavirus. The fatality rate associated with monkeypox might range from 1 to 10 percent. However, those ten percent of instances are fairly emblematic of the low-quality care practised in Africa, which lacks even the most fundamental methods to treat afflicted people.
The persons most in danger of passing away from monkeypox are young children and those with compromised immune systems. The typical adult will almost definitely recover independently without encountering any difficulties.
There is no specific treatment, but there is a vaccine
The bad news is that there are no certain treatments that will be effective in curing the disease that has already begun to spread. The good old vaccine against smallpox, which everyone was immunized with during childhood until 1980, protects fairly effectively against the disease. This is the good news.
Even though widespread vaccination against smallpox has been suspended for a considerable amount of time, nothing stops the production of the vaccine from being restarted and, in a very short amount of time, produces enough doses to cover everyone on the planet. According to research conducted by scientists, the efficiency of the smallpox vaccination in preventing monkeypox in the past reached 85 percent, which is quite encouraging.
The World Health Organization (WHO) outlines only a handful of simple preventative measures that are straightforward and easy to recall. First and foremost, you must avoid physical contact with monkeys and rodents. Because of this, it is best to avoid going anywhere, including zoos, particularly those that allow visitors to interact with the animals. Second, you should try to minimize your close physical contact with those who exhibit the symptoms described earlier. If you keep at least a few meters of distance between you and them, there is almost no chance that you will catch monkeypox. Third, something that has already become routine for most people on the planet: regularly and thoroughly washing one’s hands with soap.
The rate of infection is not yet alarming
The number of persons who have been found to have monkeypox is now only in the low dozens. This is because there are only a limited number of ways the disease can be transmitted. What caused such a stir in the media? The problem is that cases of the disease are being diagnosed, even among people who have never gone to locations where monkeypox has been recorded for several decades, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
According to reports in the media, the vast majority of transmission cases are related to close contact, most commonly s3xual intercourse, in which two partners remain physically close to one another for an extended period of time and exchange biological fluids. Therefore, it is not required to consider monkey pox to be a new coronavirus at this stage in the evolution of events because it has already been established that this is not the case.