Monkeypox Virus: How to keep yourself protected against ”Monkeypox Virus”

Microscopic image of monkeypox virus

On May 6, 2022, a monkeypox epidemic was reported, commencing with a British citizen who displayed symptoms compatible with monkeypox on April 29, 2022, after visiting Nigeria (where the disease is endemic). On May 4, the resident returned to the United Kingdom, becoming the outbreak’s index case. Health officials in Europe, the United States, and Australia are investigating a recent outbreak of monkeypox cases, a rare viral disease typically found in Africa.

Germany became the latest European country to declare an outbreak of the virus on Friday, joining the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Sweden. Since the first case was discovered on May 7, the number of cases in the United Kingdom has doubled. There are already 20 verified instances in the country, but fears are growing that more are going unnoticed.

A woman can be seen with monkeypox virus

The UAE’s health ministry has reassured the public that the country is adequately prepared to deal with the viral zoonotic disease monkeypox, which has been confirmed in 12 countries. 

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) is now investigating and assessing the disease’s severity in the area, and healthcare establishments have been asked to report any suspected cases. 

What exactly is monkeypox?

Monkeypox virus seen in a person

It is a zoonotic virus, meaning it can pass from animals to people. It can also spread from person to person. 

What are the signs and symptoms?

Monkeypox rash image: What it looks like

Fever, severe headaches, muscle aches, back discomfort, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and a skin rash or lesions are all common symptoms. The rash usually appears one to three days after the fever begins.

Lesions can be flat or slightly elevated, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, crusted, dried up, and eventually fall off. A person’s number of lesions might range from a few hundred to several thousand. The rash mostly affects the face, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet. They also appear on the lips, genitals, and eyes. 

Symptoms usually last two to four weeks and disappear on their own without therapy. Consult your doctor if you think you have symptoms that could be caused by monkeypox. Also inform them if you have had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox. 

How does it reach humans from animals? 

When individuals come into personal contact with an infected animal, monkeypox can be transmitted to them. Rodents and primates are examples of animal hosts. 

Avoiding unprotected contact with wild animals, especially those that are sick or dead, can lower the risk of contracting monkeypox from them (including their meat and blood). 

Any items including animal meat or parts should be fully cooked before eating in endemic countries where animals spread monkeypox. 

How can I protect myself and others?

Monkeypox vaccines

Limit your interaction with those who have suspected or confirmed monkeypox to lower your risk. 

If you have to come into contact with someone who has monkeypox because you work with them or live with them, encourage them to self-isolate and conceal whatever skin sores they have if they can (for example, by wearing clothing over the rash). 

They should wear a medical mask when you are physically close to them, especially if they are coughing or have lesions in their mouth. You should also put one on. When feasible, avoid skin-to-skin contact and wear disposable gloves if you have direct contact with lesions. If the person can not do it themselves, use a mask when handling any clothing or bedding. 

Clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis, especially after contact with an infected person, their clothes, bed sheets, towels, and other items or surfaces they have touched or that may have come into contact with their rash or respiratory secretions (for example, utensils, dishes). 

Warm water and detergent should be used to wash the person’s clothes, towels, bedsheets, and dining utensils. Clean and disinfect any infected surfaces, and properly dispose of any contaminated debris (such as dressings).