Monkey pox is a rare zoonotic viral infection (zoonotic: transmissible from animals to humans and humans to humans), similar to small pox, chicken pox and measles with some slight difference in symptoms, rate of transmission and severeness of illness.
It’s epidemic and prevalent in the Congo basin clade and relatively milder in the West African clade caused by contamination with the monkey pox virus.
Origin of Monkey Pox
Monkey pox virus is of two types the Congo basin type and the West African type. It was discovered primarily among animals precisely among monkeys in 1958 in a laboratory experiment in Copenhagen Denmark ( it was named after the first detected animal-monkey pox.
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Who are the carriers of Monkey Pox?
Nevertheless, monkeys are not the reservoir- carriers of this virus, the actual carriers are yet to be discovered, this virus can also be contracted from certain rodents e.g Gambian pouched rats, African Squirrel, prairie dogs and other non-human primates.
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In 1970, it was firstly detected among humans in the Republic of Congo, then in 2003 in the United States with 71 infected victims with no death cases, the virus was traced to have been contracted from a pet store, importing and selling rodents from Accra, Ghana and since 2018 the centres for disease control and prevention has declared all reported cases outside African to have been from Nigeria.
Current and old cases of Monkey Pox in humans
Prior to 2022, no human to human transmission was detected but lately on May 6,a British resident, coming from Nigeria has been tested positive of the virus, the patient is presently receiving treatment at the infectious Disease Unit of Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust in London.
Currently the virus has been confirmed in at least 20 countries, Europe, Asia and Australia inclusively and it has been confirmed to be in 32 states in Nigeria. The NCDC reported 46 suspected victims between January 1 and April 30 2022, in addition to 10 confirmed cases from seven states; Adamawa(3), Lagos(2), Kano( 1), FCT(1), Delta(1), Edo(1) and ogun(1). From September 2017 to April 30 2022, a total of 552 suspected cases has been recorded from 32 states in Nigeria.
Further more, within the space of 3 weeks in May 2022, numerous cases has been confirmed in large number of countries and regions predominantly in Europe, North Africa, Australia, United kingdom, Spain and Portugal and from May 18 to June 2 2022 a total of 793 cases has been confirmed in Nigeria. Bayelsa state being the first state to have this virus in 2017.
Detection of Monkey Pox
The virus can be detected by laboratory tests( test for the DNA of the virus, polymerase chain reaction test,electron microscopy tests,serologic studies and by observing the symptoms within 5-21 days of infection.
Symptoms of Monkey Pox
The symptoms of this virus is similar to that of chicken pox and small pox, the symptoms include:
- Muscle ache
- Back pain
- Asthenia (lack of energy)
- Drenching sweat and coughs within the first 10 days
- And subsequently the development of papular rash, with wide distribution to the head,trunk, upper and lower extremities, lesions of palm and soles, and the most distinguishing symptoms is the swelling of lymph nodes ( Lymphadenopathy).
Those At Risk of Monkey Pox
The illness life span is between 2-4weeks. The risk of death is 1-11%. This virus is more dangerous with patients with comorbidity e.g HIV,cancer or patient on anti-cancer drugs because of their current weakened immune system to combat the virus.
The people at greater risks are infected victims friends and family members, hospital workers,bush meat lovers.
Mode of transmission
The virus can be transmitted by:
- Direct contact with the monkey pox virus
- Contact with infected animals ( eating their flesh and their beddings
- Animal bite,
- Infected animals body fluids e.g their mucous membranes either of the eyes, nose or mouth
- Contact with sores and scab of infected animals
- Transmission from infected humans to another human through sexual intercourse, kissing, cuddling, sharing utensils,rooms,mother- foestus transfer.
In lieu of this the federal government had banned the sales of bush meat.
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Prevention is better than cure
This Monkey pox virus can be prevented by vaccination ( small pox vaccination) it can prevent the virus with 85% effectiveness, avoiding animal beddings,hand hygiene using soap and water or alcohol based sanitizer, isolating infected patient and animals in avoid global outbreak, using personal protective when caring for infected victims and enriching your body with high quality nutritional intake.
This virus can be treated with Jynneos, cidofovir, Tecovirimat, antipyretic fluid balance only under the correct supervision and prescription of a medical professional.
Who to contact for help?
In case you are noticing any of the symptoms afforementioned, immediately consult your doctor, for immediate treatment, the virus is not fatal if timely and adequate treatment is given.
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