10 Things You Need to Know About the Highly Infectious Monkeypox

10 Things You Need to Know About the Highly Infectious Monkeypox

There is a new disease in town called Monkeypox recently discovered in Bayelsa with 11 people including a medical doctor reportedly quarantined after contacting it.

Here are key points you need to know about this potential killer disease:

  1. It is a viral disease that can be transmitted from animals like crab-eating macaque monkeys and the Giant Gambian rat to humans. Other types of monkeys and rodents may also transmit the disease.
  2. It is similar to smallpox which was eradicated in 1980 but with milder symptoms and can still kill people.
  3. Symptoms include but not limited to swelling of lymph nodes, muscle pain, intense headache, fever, and rash with lesions covering the face and other parts of the body including genitalia and cornea (eyeball) sometimes.
  4. According to the World Health Organization (WHO): “Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Zaire) in a 9 year old boy in a region where smallpox had been eliminated in 1968.” The majority of cases have been reported in remote parts of Central and West Africa although in 2003 an outbreak occurred in the United States.
  5. It has an estimated death rate of 10% meaning 1 in 10 people that get it are likely to die. This figure may vary based on the quality of treatment infected patients receive.
  6. Transmission: According to WHO; “Infection of index cases results from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals. In Africa human infections have been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, Gambian giant rats and squirrels, with rodents being the major reservoir of the virus. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor.“Secondary, or human-to-human, transmission can result from close contact with infected respiratory tract   secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by patient fluids or lesion materials. Transmission occurs primarily via droplet respiratory particles usually requiring prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts household members of active cases at greater risk of infection. Transmission can also occur by inoculation or via the placenta (congenital monkeypox). There is no evidence, to date, that person-to-person transmission alone can sustain monkeypox infections in the human population.”

    7. WHO suggests the following tests for diagnosing Monkeypox:

  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Antigen detection tests
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay
  • Virus isolation by cell culture
    8.Treatment: There is no clear treatment for monkeypox although it is believed that those who were vaccinated against smallpox before its complete eradication, may be less susceptible to it.

    9. Prevention: It is best to avoid handling monkeys, other primates and rodents. Eating them is a bad idea and all meat to be consumed should be properly cooked. People diagnosed or showing potential symptoms should be treated by qualified medical personnel with necessary protective equipment. They should implement standard infection control precautions.

    10. Report to the hospital quickly if you or someone close to you is exhibiting the aforementioned or other strange symptoms. The earlier treatment is administered at a hospital the better the chances of survival and curbing the spread of the infection.


  • pinit_fg_en_rect_gray_20 10 Things You Need to Know About the Highly Infectious Monkeypox

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