Facts about monkeypox virus (Educate yourself)

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Recently, Monkeypox virus outbreak occurred in some states in the South East and Eastern part of Nigeria. Lagos State also recently reported a case of the virus. In the Northern part of Nigeria, Zamfara State reported the first case of the virus also. So far, in Ibadan and Oyo State, there have been no report of this virus. That said,we need to educate ourselves on what this virus is, the cause, the symptoms and the treatment of Monkey Pox virus.

What is Monkeypox Virus

According to the World Health Organization(WHO), Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is an orthopoxvirus that causes human monkeypox (MPX), a viral disease with symptoms in humans similar to that seen in smallpox patients. Human monkeypox is regularly reported in villages of Central and West Africa close to tropical rainforest where there is frequent contact with infected animals.

How is the virus transmitted

Monkeypox is usually transmitted to humans from non-human primates, squirrels or other rodents through contact with the infected animal’s blood or through a bite. 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. Symptoms include swelling of lymph nodes, muscle pain, headache, fever, prior to the emergence of the rash.

Prevention of transmission of virus

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. This has not been conclusively demonstrated in humans because routine smallpox vaccination was discontinued following the apparent eradication of smallpox and due to safety concerns with the vaccine.

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.

Treatment of virus

There is no known treatment of the virus. The people who have been infected can be vaccinated up to 14 days after exposure.

So be informed before the outbreak gets to Oyo state, like 9ice said in his song Health is Wealth

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