The world has still not gotten over the trauma of the covid 19 pandemic and we are faced with yet another virus that seems to be wreaking havoc in a lot of countries. Most of us had not heard about the monkeypox virus until recently when it started spreading rapidly in the summer of 2022. In August, the US government declared the monkeypox virus as a public health emergency and efforts are being directed towards controlling its rapid spread. At a time, such as this, we must keep ourselves informed and take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves safe. Here are some of the important facts about the monkeypox virus that all of us should be aware of.
– The monkeypox virus and the smallpox virus belong to the same family. Contrary to its name the monkeypox virus infection is not spread by monkeys. In fact, it is named so because it was first discovered in a group of lab monkeys which turned out to be just incidental hosts. Traditionally, the monkeypox virus lives and replicates in rodents and prairie dogs.
– The monkeypox virus usually spreads when you come in contact with an infected person or their wound dressings. The monkeypox virus transmission also occurs when you are bitten by an infected animal or you touch an infected persons clothes or bedding.
– The monkeypox virus symptoms are fever along rashes that occur mostly along your body extremities such as face, hands and legs. This may be accompanied by headaches, tiredness, chills, body aches and swollen lymph nodes. Among the many interesting facts about the monkeypox virus that is currently spreading is that the rashes are atypical in nature and are occurring more in the genital regions.
– The effects of the monkeypox virus infection are usually mild, but the current outbreak of the virus is showing significant effects that are life threatening and fatal. This virus can affect people of all ages but individuals with a weakened immune system are more susceptible to contracting the virus.
– Recently, the virus has become a cause for concern because it can spread from one individual to another. The WHO has reported that one out of ten people who contract the virus die because of its effects. However, cases which show mild symptoms can recover in a few weeks’ time.
– An interesting fact about the monkeypox virus is that it is less contagious than the COVID 19 virus. Although, it spreads from human-to-human contact, it requires prolonged close contact with the individual for transmission. Research has pointed out the fact that a person with COVID 19 virus is likely to infect eight other people as opposed to a person having the monkeypox virus who is likely to infect just one other person.
– The most potent and effective monkeypox virus vaccine available to us today is the Jynneos vaccine. It was developed in 2019 and shows 85% effectiveness against the virus. However, due to limited supply it is administered only to those individuals who have been exposed to the monkeypox virus or are at a high risk of contracting the virus.
– The best way to avoid contracting the monkeypox virus is to avoid coming in contact with animals or individuals who are infected. Maintain a good personal hygiene and wash your hands frequently with soap. Keep your surroundings clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched. Although, several treatment options are available, preventing the infection by vaccination is the best. However, if you feel that you are developing monkeypox virus symptoms or have come in contact with a person exhibiting these symptoms, then keep your distance from other people and seek medical attention at the earliest.