I am currently in Nigeria and there has been an outbreak of a disease called Monkey pox. This ‘Alien’ disease has come with a lot of tension, uncertainty and myths. So I decided to do a thorough research about the disease to assist my readers. Below is a question and answer summary.
WHAT IS MONKEY POX? Monkey pox is a rare viral Zoonosis disease. Zoonosis means that it was transmitted from Animals to Humans. It is an infectious disease.
WHY IS IT CALLED MONKEY POX? It was first discovered in laboratory monkeys in 1958 and it comes with pox bigger than that of chicken pox. In humans it comes with symptoms similar to that of small pox.
WHAT CAUSES MONKEY POX? Monkey pox is caused by Monkey pox virus, which belongs to the orthopoxvirus group of viruses. Other orthopox viruses that cause infections in humans include smallpox, vaccinia (used for smallpox vaccine), and cowpox viruses
WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MONKEY POX? There has been a recent outbreak of Monkey pox especially in countries in West Africa and Central Africa. The Congo government formally declared the outbreak on Mar. 13. 2017. Congo has recorded 70 cases and 4 deaths since the outbreak in late January reported through April 23. In Nigeria, The news of the outbreak has been on the media since October 4 2017 with about 10 infected and 49 placed under surveillance. Before 2017, Monkey pox cases has been recorded in 2003 in the Midwest United States, Sudan, Unity, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo.
WHY SHOULD I BE CONCERNED SINCE THEIR HAS BEEN NO RECORDED CASE IN MY COUNTRY? Monkey pox is transmitted through humans and animals and it is not limited to the environment. Meaning that someone who has contacted monkey pox without adequate knowledge of the disease could travel to another country and spread it. The virus that causes monkey pox was recovered from an African squirrel. Laboratory studies showed that the virus could also infect mice, rats, and rabbits and animals could mistakenly be imported to other countries. Hence it is important to have adequate knowledge of the disease.
WHO CAN BE INFECTED? Humans and animals can be infected
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS IN HUMANS? During the first few days, SYMPTOMS INCLUDE Unease, discomfort, shortness of breathed,cough, fever, weakness, distress, nausea. In ab0ut two to four days after fever develops, a rash with papules and pustules develops, including mucus membranes inside the nose and mouth. After about four to seven days, lesions (pustules, papules) develop on the face and trunk that ulcerate, crust over, and begin to clear up after about 14-21 days, and lymph nodes enlarge. Note; the early symptoms differs with different people
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS IN ANIMALS? The Animal appears very weak and may not be able to eat or drink. The animals also develops a fever, cough, eye discharge, swelling in the limbs, and a bumpy or blistery rash
CAN I GET IT FROM MY PET? YES! You can if your pet has been exposed to a sick animal and you are in direct contact with it. You could get it through its lesions or body fluid or its bite even scratches especially when the human skin is broken from the scratches or bite.
HOW DO I CONTACT SMALL POX FROM HUMANS? 1. Through body contact. 2. Sharing personal belongings such as toothbrush, bedding, clothing even properly washed toilets. 3, Through respiratory droplets during direct and prolonged face-to-face contact 4. Through direct contact with blood
HOW FATAL IS MONKEY POX? It is not as fatal as Ebola or Small pox. Fatality cases are low as 1% to 10%.
HOW DO I PREVENT MONKEY POX? 1. Avoid body contact with a Monkey pox patient. 2. If their must be bodily contacts, use gloves and protective attires 3. Isolate yourself if you have monkey pox till the pox lesions have healed (lost their crusts) 4. Protect your pets 5. Make sure your home is free of rodents because rodents such as rats have been known to transmit monkey pox 6. Make sure you wash, clean or disinfect items used by an infected person before use. 7. Use disinfectants and hand wash regularly especially if your work requires a lot of handshakes. 8. small pox vaccines has also been helpful 9. Cook your meats properly 10. Mind the animals that you touch, dont go carrying any pets you see or touching random animals.
WHAT DO I DO AS SOON AS I NOTICE THE SYMPTOMS OR BEEN EXPOSED TO MONKEY POX? 1. Alert those around you whom you may have had contact with 2. Wash your clothing with the help of a washing machine hot water and detergent 3. Take a bath and call your Doctor and your health care department.
WHAT IF MY PET HAS THE SYMPTOMS OR HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO MONKEY POX? 1. Separate the animal from people and other animals immediately preferable lock it in a cage where you wont put the other animals 2. Disinfect your hands well with soap and hot water after contact with the animal and any object that may be contaminated with the virus 3. Clothing should be changed after feeding or caring for the animal. 4. Laundry should be washed with a standard washing machine with hot water and detergent. note; The use of chlorine bleach during hot water washing can provide an added measure of safety. Care should be used when handling soiled laundry to avoid direct contact with contaminated material. Soiled laundry should not be shaken or moved around a lot. Infectious particles could be spread and breathed in 5. Take a hot water bath after washing the items and disinfect the bathroom 6. Inform your state or local health department that you think you have pet with monkey pox. 7. Do not release your pet into the wild. If it is infected, this could spread the disease to other animals and people. 8. Do not take your pet to a vet without calling first.
IS THERE ANY CURE FOR MONKEY POX? There is no known cure yet for Monkey pox although small pox vaccines has been 85% effective.
CAN I USE SMALL POX VACCINE FOR MY PETS? NO, Small pox vaccines are not recommended for pets
HOW LONG DOES THE DISEASE LAST? It typically lasts for two to 4 weeks
DOES IT CAUSE SCARING? Yes it leaves scars that becomes less visible with time. How fast depends on care, age and body type
PLEASE SHARE THE LINK WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE. BE SAFE.