Monkeypox Outbreak: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Vaccine

Monkeypox outbreak

Lately, the Monkeypox outbreak has been making the headlines all over the globe. The disease was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. 

Both the outbreaks resembled a pox-like disease and hence the name Monkeypox. As per the source of the disease, it’s still unknown, but African rodents and non-human primates are likely to harbor the virus and infect people.

Prior to the recent 2022 outbreak, the disease was also reported in 1970 when the first human case of monkeypox was discovered. The disease has mainly affected people in central and western African countries. 

However, Monkeypox has now gone global. So, let’s find out more about its causes, symptoms, treatment and vaccine.

Also read: Top 5 Reasons You Must Take Mock Test Before the NEET SS Exam 

Monkeypox Outbreak – Overview

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease, caused by monkeypox virus, which is acknowledged as the major orthopox virus infection after the eradication of smallpox. Symptoms of Monkeypox are also similar to that of smallpox, but milder and rarely fatal. 

It is a double-stranded DNA virus that is from the orthopox family, related to smallpox, but not as dangerous. Monkeypox causes a rare zoonotic infection in communities in the rainforest belt of central Africa, producing a vesicular rash indistinguishable from smallpox, but differentiated by the presence of lymphadenopathy.

There are 2 strains of the virus: 

  • Central African Strain: Death rate is 10%
  • West African Strain: Death rate is 1-3%

Recent outbreaks outside Africa have been linked to importation of African animals as exotic pets in the USA in 2003, causing animal to human infection.

Symptoms

  • Rash, Fever, Chills, Enlarged lymph nodes, Headaches and Muscle-ache
  • Rash spreads from trunk of the body to arms and even in the palms and soles 
  • Starts with early vesicle 3 mm diameter-→ small pustule 2 mm → umbilicate pustule 3-4 mm →ulcerated lesion 5 mm → crusting of a mature lesion→ partially removed scab
  • The illness typically last 2-4 weeks

Transmission

Monkeypox can spread through close, personal contact. This can include –

  • Touching monkeypox rash, scabs, or getting in contact with body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
  • Having contact with objects, clothes, and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  • Having direct contact with respiratory secretions.

Monkepox can also be transmitted through intimate contact, including:

  • Intercourse or touching the genitals of a person with monkeypox
  • Hugging, massage, and kissing
  • Prolonged face-to-face contact

Incubation

  • Shorter if there is scratching or biting: 9 days
  • Touching sores:13 days or even longer

Prevention

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Diagnosis

  • EM and/or DNA detection (PCR)

Treatment

  • There are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections
  • However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections
  • Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.
  • Supportive care

Vaccines

  • ACAM2000
  • JYNNEOS

Post Exposure Prophylaxis

  • Vaccinnia Immunoglobulin
  • Avoid vaccine upto 14 days after infection

If you enjoyed this post on Monkeypox, we are sure you’ll learn a lot from our videos on disease decoded segment. Here’s one –

Stay up to date with everything that’s happening in the healthcare and medical world. Download the PrepLadder App now and learn on the go.

Own Your Dream 

Team PrepLadder  

Kashika Walia

Kashika Walia is a Senior Content Writer at PrepLadder. She is devoted to give her readers easily digestible and high-value content that makes their journey towards their dream career incredibly easy.