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Monkeypox Awareness: Early symptoms of monkeypox


In the year 1958, when the outbreak of two types of poxes was being researched on monkeys when monkeypox was discovered. Monkeypox is usually spread when a human comes in touch with an infected rodent. In other cases, monkeypox also spreads with skin-to-skin touch with a person who is infected by monkeypox.  Read on to learn more about this disease: 


What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease, and to some extent, it is somewhat similar to smallpox which is caused due to monkeypox virus. This disease initially originated in African countries but has now spread to different countries of the world due to international travel. Monkeypox majorly shows flu-like symptoms and red rashes that can take a few weeks to cure. Until now, there isn’t any specific monkeypox treatment, and its symptoms usually go away on their own after a week or two.


Which age group is infected by monkeypox?

People of any age group can get infected with monkeypox. But, considering research done in Africa, it is seen that children below 15 years of age are more prone to fall prey to monkeypox. Also, it is seen that men who get into a physical relationship with the same gender also fall prey to this disease. However, such people are very few who have accrued this disease.


How can you catch monkeypox?

Monkeypox is usually spread by coming into contact with a person or animal who is infected with the monkeypox virus. In the case of transmission of monkeypox from animal to humans, it occurs via bites, scratches, broken skin, sores, coming into direct contact with the blood of an infected animal, body fluid, etc.


Signs and symptoms of monkeypox

It may take a few days or a week to develop the monkeypox symptoms after you get exposed to the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox has flu-like symptoms; here are a few signs and symptoms that you are prone to see when someone suffers from monkeypox:

  • Muscle ache
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph node

When someone acquires monkeypox, they start developing red rashes and red bumps that are flat and painful. There are also chances that they may develop sores in their anus, mouth and vagina. These rashes further transform into blisters that get filled with pus. With the passage of time, the blisters crust and fall off after a span of two to three weeks.


You also need to take note that not everyone shows all the signs of monkeypox, and the symptoms may also vary from one person to another.


During the recent outbreak of monkeypox in 2022, people who have been infected with monkeypox have not shown the usual symptoms. Many of them do not experience any lesions or swollen lymph nodes. Also, very few of them get high fever and show other signs of infection and illness. But whatever the case, even if you do not show some intense symptoms of monkeypox but if you are infected with the virus, you can still spread the virus to others if you get in close contact with others. So, ensure that you isolate or distance yourself from other people so as not to spread the disease.


Ways to prevent the monkeypox virus

The smallpox vaccine is currently being used as a protection against the monkey chickenpox virus. But its usage is restricted to clinical trials. In order to prevent monkeypox, here are a few things that you need to do:


  • If you are cooking meat, make sure that you cook it thoroughly.
  • Make it a habit of washing your hands with soap and water, especially before you eat something or while touching your eyes, nose or ears.
  • If there is any person who is infected with monkeypox, avoid contact with them until they recover.
  • Practice the use of condoms and other preventive methods for safe sex.
  • Avoid getting in touch with any sick or dead animal.
  • Wear a proper mask that covers your mouth and nose completely while you are in a public place.
  • Consider cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are frequently touched or witness huge traffic throughout the day.
  • If anyone is infected with monkeypox and you have taken up the responsibility of caregiving, make sure that you use a PPE kit while taking care of an infected person.


Can monkeypox be cured?

The symptoms of monkeypox can last over a period of two to four weeks, and most people who get this infection get cured on their own without seeking any treatment. Once monkeypox is diagnosed, your doctor may prescribe you medications to lessen the monkeypox symptoms and instruct you to stay hydrated. They may also give you antibiotics to treat the bacterial infections if at all they develop.

Till date, there are no antiviral treatments that have been approved. There are antiviral drugs that can help in treatment, but these drugs are not studied specifically for monkeypox treatment.


Medanta Medical Team
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