THE RE-EMERGENCE OF MONKEYPOX
Monkeypox is a re-emerging infectious disease which is caused by the Monkeypox virus. This disease can be self-limiting, but can also lead to severe illness or death. Monkeypox leads to death in up to 11% of cases. It is most commonly found in children.
There had been an outbreak of monkeypox in Nigeria since 2017. From September 2017 to April 2022, there were 558 suspected cases of monkeypox with 231 confirmed cases. Moreover, this year, there were 46 suspected cases between January 1st and April 30th, with 15 confirmed cases from 7 states in Nigeria (The Conversation, 2022)
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease. This means the virus is transmitted from animals to humans. Animals that serve as vectors are rodents, monkeys and squirrels. Infection occurs as a result of direct contact with the blood, body fluids or external lesions of infected animals. Inadequate cooking of meat of infected animals is an important risk factor.
Also, person-to-person transmission can occur through close contact with respiratory droplets, skin lesions and contact with contaminated surfaces. Meanwhile, the person-to-person transmission alone can not easily lead to an outbreak.
Clinical symptoms of monkeypox are similar to that of smallpox but are not as severe as smallpox. In 1980, smallpox was eradicated worldwide through vaccination, but monkeypox still occurs in some parts of Central and West Africa. Also, unlike smallpox, monkeypox presents with severe swelling of lymph nodes before the appearance of severe rashes. Symptoms of monkeypox are fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, back pain, muscle aches and fatigue. Severe rashes appear 1-3days after the onset of fever.
Laboratory diagnosis is the only means of confirming monkeypox. Lesions from an infected person are screened for viral DNA using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Method.
Follow all precautionary measures to prevent the transmission of monkeypox. Some measures to practice are avoiding close contact with infected individuals, practising proper handwashing, ensuring proper waste disposal and safe burial of dead patients.
For more enlightenment about the diagnosis of monkeypox and for your PCR tests, visit MedBioTechLab.