The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared monkeypox virus as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
According to WHO ,Monkey pox is a zoonotic disease caused by the monkey pox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. The disease is endemic in regions like West and Central Africa but lately, cases have been reported from non-endemic countries too.
In India, a 34-year-old man from Delhi with no history of foreign travel tested positive for monkey pox on Sunday, taking the country’s tally of cases to four. Three cases of monkey pox were earlier reported in Kerala.
Monkey pox can be transmitted to humans through a person or animal who is infected by the virus. It can also spread through material contaminated by the virus. One can contract monkey pox by coming in close contact with the body fluids, lesions, respiratory droplets, and materials like the bedding of the infected person.
Animal to human transmission of the virus can occur by getting in direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of the infected animal. Animals including tree squirrels, ropes squirrels, and many species of monkeys have been found to be infected by the virus.
According to the WHO, monkey pox is not as contagious as smallpox and does not cause severe illness. The incubation period of the virus or the period from the infection to the onset of symptoms is from 6 to 13 days. However, it can sometimes range between 5 and 21 days.
A person infected with the virus can experience fever, intense headache, back pain, muscle aches, intense asthenia (lack of energy) and or swelling of the lymph nodes. These symptoms can last up to five days.
The skin eruption occurs usually after one to three days of the appearance of fever. The rashes appear more on the face and extremities of the body. In 95 per cent of monkey pox cases, the rashes affect the face while in 75 per cent of cases, it affects the palms of the hand and soles of the feet.
To prevent the transmission of the monkey pox virus, one should avoid eating inadequately cooked meat and other animal products.Avoid getting in direct contact with the infected person.
Physical distancing should be maintained with the people infected with the virus.Do not use material such as the bedding of the infected person which could be contaminated with the virus.