Here is What You Need to Know About MonkeyPox

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Twenty-nineteen has unfortunately brought its fair share of outbreaks of viruses in Pakistan. From the ongoing XDR typhoid outbreak to a potential threat of MonkeyPox virus as the Disease Surveillance System of Punjab Information of technology Board has reported a suspected case of the dangerous virus in the Nawaz Sharif Yakki Gate Hospital in Lahore.

But what is MonkeyPox? And why has its alleged presence alarmed health experts?

According to the World Health Organization MonkeyPox is a rare viral zoonotic disease – an illness spread between animals and people. The virus is primarily found to occur in remote parts of central and west Africa. It is for the first time that its presence has been suspected in the country.

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Although it is similar to human smallpox and is much milder in nature, it can be fatal. The fatality rate of the virus has been between 1% to 10%. Majority of the deaths have been in younger age groups.

How is it transmitted?

The virus is transmitted to people through close contact with infected animals, such as rodents. Human to human transmission is rare but may occur through contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions or objects recently contaminated by patient’s fluids or lesion materials.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of MonkeyPox are similar to that of smallpox but are much milder. It follows the same pattern though, begins with a fever then a headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. However, the only difference between the two is that the former causes lymph nodes to swell while the latter does not.

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The time it takes from infection to symptoms is usually seven-14 days but can change from five-21 days, while it takes around one to three days for a patient to develop a rash on the body or face, after the onset of the fever. Once diagnosed it takes around two-four weeks for MonkeyPox to last.

Treatment

Considering there isn’t any treatment available at the moment, anti-virus vaccines, such as the smallpox vaccines are injected to control the outbreak of MonkeyPox.

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