The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that it has confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection in a person who recently traveled to Canada. In addition, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday that its labs have confirmed the spread of monkeypox. Meanwhile, state health officials have begun searching for contacts. Following the reporting of the case, the Canadian Public Health Agency issued a statement late Wednesday stating that it was aware of the monkeypox case in Europe and was closely monitoring the current situation, with no case reported at this time.
According to physicians and health experts, monkeypox occurs mostly in West and Central Africa. It is a rare viral infection, like mumps in humans, though mild. It was first recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s. However, the number of victims in West Africa has increased over the past decade.
Countries such as Spain and Portugal have identified more than 40 suspected cases of monkeypox and outbreaks have been reported in the Madrid and Lisbon areas, officials said Wednesday, according to AFP. The British Health Authority says it has identified seven cases so far this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement.
Last week, the WHO warned that the virus was spreading to sex networks. Health officials also point out that some of these infections can be transmitted through sexual contact – in this case between homosexual or bisexual men – which will lead to a new development in understanding how the virus is transmitted. In Madrid, health authorities issued a statement saying they had identified “23 possible cases of monkeypox” and that all of them were believed to have been transmitted through sexual activity. They further stated that all reported cases were among men, most of whom were young and had ulcers.
What is a monkeypox?
According to the WHO, the monkeypox is a sylvatic zoonosis associated with human infections that usually occur in the forests of Central and West Africa. It is caused by the monkeypox virus which belongs to the orthopox virus family. Monkeypox droplets can be transmitted through exposure to exposure to large droplets and from contact with infected skin lesions or contaminants.
“Monkeypox is a viral disease caused by the monkeypox virus. And it is thought to be relatively smallpox virus and the symptoms are quite similar, but the main difference is that the lymph nodes in the monkeypox are enlarged, ”said Dr. Sulaiman Ladhani, Consulting Chest Physician MD Chest and Tuberculosis, Massina Hospital, Mumbai.
The WHO has revealed that the monkeypox virus has two clades: the West African clade and the Congo Basin (Central African) clade. “Although the West African clade of monkeypox virus infection sometimes leads to serious illness in some individuals, the disease is usually self-limiting. In the case of the West African clade, the mortality rate is recorded as about 1%, whereas, for the Congo Basin clade, it can be up to 10%. Babies are also at high risk and can cause monkeypox complications, congenital monkeypox or stillbirth during pregnancy, “the World Health Organization said in a statement on Wednesday.
Although the vaccine eradicated smallpox from the world in 1980, monkeypox continues to spread to Central and West African countries. It is a disease that is transmitted from infected animals to humans. According to the WHO, the incident occurred near tropical rainforests inhabited by animals carrying the virus. Monkeypox virus infection has been detected in squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dermis and some species of monkeys. The health agency also maintains that human-to-human transmission is quite limited.
“Transmission, when it occurs, can occur through bodily fluids, skin or internal mucosal surface lesions, such as mouth or throat, respiratory tract and contact with contaminants,” the WHO said.
Symptoms and treatment
According to the CDC, monkeypox starts with fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain and fatigue. It causes swelling of the lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy), which does not cause smallpox. The WHO underlines that it is important not to confuse monkeypox with chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, syphilis and drug-related allergies.
“The lymph nodes in the neck and body become swollen and the infected person has a pre-existing high fever or a slowly progressive rash on the body, which usually starts in the mouth and is a bursting rash. It is thought to be transmitted to individuals through direct sexual contact, but research is still ongoing to confirm this, “Dr. Ladhani told Financial Express.com.
According to the WHO, the incubation period for monkeypox is usually 7-14 days but can be up to 5-21 days. Usually, within one to three days after the onset of the fever, the patient develops a rash on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. Furthermore, the stage of skin rash can last for 2 to 4 weeks, during which time the lesions become hard and painful, first filled with clear fluid and then with pus and then scab or crust is formed.
According to the WHO, the proportion of patients who died in registered cases varied from 0 to 11 percent and was higher among young children. There is still no safe, proven treatment for monkeypox. The WHO recommends adjuvant treatment depending on the symptoms. Awareness is important for infection prevention and control.
The first case of monkeypox
According to the CDC, the monkeypox infection was first discovered in 1958 after two outbreaks of pox-like disease in the colonies where monkeys were kept for research and hence the name ‘monkeypox’. Meanwhile, the first human case was recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1970 during intense efforts to eradicate smallpox. According to the WHO, 15 countries on four continents have so far reported confirmed cases of monkeypox among humans.
Locally acquired cases have been confirmed in the DRC (which has the highest incidence of infections in the world), the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, C ডিte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Meanwhile, import cases have been found in South Sudan and Benin in Africa and in the United States, United Kingdom, Israel and Singapore.