There is Monkeypox outbreak in Bayelsa where over 10 persons including a medical doctor were diagnosed and quarantined yesterday, here is what you should know about the virus.
Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. The disease was first identified in laboratory monkeys, hence its name, but in its natural state it seems to infect rodents more often than primates. The disease is indigenous to Central and West Africa. An outbreak that occurred in the United States in 2003 was traced to a pet store where imported Gambian pouched rats were sold.
Monkeypox virus is a zoonotic viral disease that occurs primarily in remote villages of Central and West Africa in proximity to tropical rainforests where there is more frequent contact with infected animals. Monkeypox is usually transmitted to humans from rodents, pets, and primates through contact with the animal’s blood or through a bite. Human monkeypox can be difficult to distinguish clinically from smallpox (to which it is closely related) and chickenpox (to which it is not).
Monkeypox virus which causes the disease in both humans and animals was first identified in 1958 as a pathogen of crab-eating macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) being used as laboratory animals. The crab-eating macaque is often used for neurological experiments. Monkeypox virus is an Orthopoxvirus, a genus of the family Poxviridae that contains other viral species that target mammals.
The virus was first discovered in monkeys (hence the name) in 1958, and in humans in 1970. Between 1970 and 1986, over 400 cases in humans were reported. Small viral outbreaks with a death rate in the range of 10% and a secondary human to human infection rate of about the same amount occur routinely in equatorial Central and West Africa. The primary route of infection is thought to be contact with the infected animals or their bodily fluids. The first reported outbreak in the United States occurred in 2003 in the midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, with one occurrence in New Jersey. The outbreak was traced to a prairie dogs infected from an imported Gambian pouch rat. No deaths occurred.
The virus can spread both from animal to human and from human to human. Infection from animal to human can occur via an animal bite or by direct contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids. The virus can spread from human to human by both respiratory (airborne) contact and contact with infected person’s bodily fluids. Risk factors for transmission include sharing a bed, room, or using the same utensils as an infected patient. Increased transmission risk associated with factors involving introduction of virus to the oral mucosa. Incubation period is 10–14 days. Prodromal symptoms include swelling of lymph nodes, muscle pain, headache, fever, prior to the emergence of the rash.The rash is usually only present on the trunk but has the capacity to spread to the palms and soles of the feet, occurring in a centrifugal distribution. The initial macular lesions exhibit a papular, then vesicular and pustular appearance.
Prevention and treatment
Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox. Smallpox vaccine has been reported to reduce the risk of monkeypox among previously vaccinated persons in Africa. The decrease in immunity to poxviruses in exposed populations is a factor in the prevalence of monkeypox. It is attributed both to waning cross-protective immunity among those vaccinated before 1980 when mass smallpox vaccinations were discontinued, and to the gradually increasing proportion of unvaccinated individuals.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that persons investigating monkeypox outbreaks and involved in caring for infected individuals or animals should receive a smallpox vaccination to protect against monkeypox. Persons who have had close or intimate contact with individuals or animals confirmed to have monkeypox should also be vaccinated. The people who have been infected can be vaccinated up to 14 days after exposure. CDC does not recommend preexposure vaccination for unexposed veterinarians, veterinary staff, or animal control officers, unless such persons are involved in field investigations.
In humans, monkeypox is similar to smallpox, although it is often milder. Vaccination against smallpox is assumed to provide protection against human monkeypox infection considering they are closely related viruses and the vaccine protects animals from experimental lethal monkeypox challenge.
Patients typically experienced prodromal symptoms of fever, headaches, muscle aches, chills, and drenching sweats. Roughly one-third of patients had nonproductive coughs. This prodromal phase followed 1–10 days later by the development of a papular rash that typically progressed through stages of vesiculation, pustulation, umbilication, and crusting. In some patients, early lesion will become ulcerated. Rash distribution and lesions occurred on head, trunk, and extremities; many of the patients had initial and satellite lesions on palms, soles, and extremities. Generalized rashes in some patient are also evidence.