What is monkey pox? And Shaio

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), monkey pox is a viral zoonosis, a virus transmitted from infected animals to humans, which is also transmitted from person to person.

The first discovery of this disease occurred in 1958 in monkeys, hence its name, and the first recorded case in humans was in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The virus has identified two clades or branches, that of Central Africa and that of West Africa, the fatality rate for the first has been established at around 10% and at 3% to 6% for the second.

What are the signs and symptoms of monkey pox?

The signs and symptoms of this disease can be very similar to those of common smallpox, but less severe. Its transmission, especially in humans, can be through direct contact, infected elements or by respiratory drops that come out when we speak, sneeze or breathe.

The most common are:

  • Fever and headache

  • Muscle pains

  • Rashes on the face, hands, feet, eyes, mouth, neck, groin, genital or anal regions

  • Inflammation of the regional lymph nodes

  • lack of energy

How can it be transmitted? monkey pox?

Although the virus is called monkeypoxdue to the fact that it was discovered in macaques, the main reservoir in nature is different types of rodents and small mammals (squirrels, prairie dogs, rats, dormouses, opossums and of course, some species of monkeys).

Transmission from animals to humans can occur through direct contact with animals infected by this virus, through contact with blood or contaminated fluids, bites, scratches, or also through the consumption of contaminated meat. The expansion of the agricultural frontier and poaching fueled the epidemic in the early decades, as they led to increased contact between humans and the natural reservoir of the virus.

Person-to-person transmission occurs through contact with a person who has a monkeypox rash, for example skin-to-skin or mouth-to-ear, and even sexual contact. The mechanism of close contact, which includes sexual contact, se has become a driver of the epidemic in the last five years, and is estimated to be the main transmission mechanism in the current health emergency.

Transmission by formites (materials on which infectious agents can be deposited, such as clothing, towels, bedding, and surfaces that came into contact with patients) may be an important mechanism to consider. Aerosols should also be considered, those small, short-range particles that are suspended in the air when we speak, cough, sneeze and even breathe.

The precautionary principle points to the need to implement isolation measures by contact and aerosols in the care of these patients, which implies compliance with the correct use of personal protective equipment and hygiene techniques of hands

It is important to note that the risk of transmission of the virus ends at the moment when all injuries enter the healing phase (the scabs dry up, fall off and a new layer of skin forms).

Who is at risk of contracting monkey pox?

  • The greatest risk of being infected occurs in people who are in direct contact with infected people or animals, especially if the contact is close, happens for a prolonged time and/or occurs in poorly ventilated spaces.

  • Health care workers who care for patients with monkeypox may be at risk of infection if they do not use personal protective equipment properly.

How to diagnose and treat monkey pox?

You must first know that once the contagion has passed, the incubation period is on average seven days, with a range of 5 to 24 days. Confirmation of infection is achieved through a laboratory test, which assesses the presence of the virus by molecular biology techniques such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction), in fluids taken from a patient with suspected infection. Biopsy can also be considered whenever there is a presence of lesions and at the doctor’s discretion.

It is important to remember that at the time of suspicion or confirmation of the disease, it is very important to go to the doctor and start the indicated treatment:

  • Due to the characteristics of the disease, it is necessary to establish isolation precautions for a period of 21 days.

  • It is important for people with monkeypox to stay hydrated, eat well, and get rest.

  • Avoid scratching your skin, keep the rash areas clean, dry and uncovered, and wash your hands before and after touching the lesion.

  • Use sterile water or antiseptic to clean the wounds.

  • Take care of your mental health and get help if you need it.

Is there a vaccine for monkey pox?

According to the WHO, it is likely that people who are vaccinated against smallpox have a degree of protection, but since this vaccination was stopped from 1980 due to the eradication of the disease, the population who was born later is unlikely to be vaccinated.

The probability of transmission of monkeypox is low, but not completely preventable, and although new and safe vaccines have been approved in some countries, it is believed that vaccination should be for people at high risk .

We know that there is a lot of uncertainty regarding this issue, but we invite all people to inform themselves and educate themselves about it, not to stigmatize the people affected, to avoid panic, to talk to the people with whom have had contact, especially if it was sexual, to avoid the spread of false or unverified information, and if there are any symptoms of this disease a go to consultation immediately without fear of stigmatization.

The control of this emergency depends on the actions of all, assertive communication and respect for the dignity of people, especially someone affected in their health.

This article had the advice of doctors Edwin Silva Monsalve and Juan Pablo Osorio Lombana, infectologists from the Shaio Clinic.

For more information: https://youtu.be/hRUzuwOQZ4w.

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