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What to Know About Monkey Pox

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Published By:
Peeyush Ghalot
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(Image Courtesy: - India TV)

Monkeypox outbreaks have now been detected in other countries, drawing the attention of scientists. Monkeypox is a virus belonging to the Orthopox virus genus, which also contains variola virus (smallpox) and cowpox virus. Fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and a characteristic bumpy rash are the most common symptoms. There are two major strains of the virus, each with its own set of dangers:

• Congo Basin strain: one out of every ten people infected with this strain dies.

• West African strain: This strain killed about one out of every 100 people infected.

Where did the Monkeypox come from?

The virus was first detected in monkeys maintained for research in the Democratic Republic of Congo (hence the name). More than a decade after its discovery in 1958, the virus made the leap to humans. It is widely considered that immunisation against smallpox, a virus that is identical to monkeypox, helped prevent epidemics in human populations. The effective eradication of smallpox and subsequent winding down of the vaccine effort has, ironically, opened the way to a new viral menace. There is an increasing number of people who are no longer immune to the virus. Viruses may now bounce across countries again, thanks to the easing of travel restrictions in many parts of the world. A few of cases have now been reported in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and a number of European nations as of the publication of this article. On the plus side, contact tracing has assisted investigators in piecing together the virus's dissemination. While incidences are uncommon in Europe and North America, it is widespread in West Africa. According to the World Health Organization, Nigeria has had over 550 recorded monkeypox cases between 2017 until now. The latest outbreak in the United Kingdom began after a person returned from a vacation to Nigeria.

Is monkeypox poised to become a new pandemic?

Monkeypox is not known to spread easily between humans, as it is spread mostly through animal-to-human contact. Because most people infected with monkeypox only infect one or two other people, outbreaks usually fade away. As a result, the fact that outbreaks are occurring in multiple nations at the same time worries health officials and organisations that track viral transmission. Experts are considering if the virus's rate of transmission has accelerated. People are naturally frightened about the virus after seeing images of people covered in monkeypox legions, but the good news is that the general public has little to fear at this point.


Monkeypox has no specific proven cure; nonetheless, most people recover with supportive care. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) with smallpox vaccine may be an option, depending on the risk of exposure. Cidofovir, brincidofovir, and tecovirimat have been tested in vitro and in animal studies; however, no efficacy data in people is available. Vaccinia immunoglobulin: could be considered for individuals with severe immunodeficiency who are unable to receive smallpox vaccine as PEP; function in active illness treatment unclear.

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