Monkeypox is already prevalent in some countries. Currently, cases occur in many places where the disease is not normally reported.
The disease has previously occurred in the United States, but in more countries the outbreak of monkeypox poses a public health threat.
What does that mean to you
Anyone who has very close physical contact with a person with monkeypox can get the disease.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Issue Level 2 Travel Alerts In the case of monkeypox, this means that travelers need to be careful about the occurrence of monkeypox. This includes avoiding close contact with sick people, avoiding wildlife and hunted meat, and seeking immediate medical care if exposed to or suspected of having monkeypox. increase.
This alert addresses cases of diseases that are endemic in North America, Europe, and other areas that are not normally endemic, with current outbreaks continuing to expand and monkeypox actually becoming more prevalent. It raises concerns that it may be possible. Widely for a while.
“Investigation is underway, but the sudden appearance of monkeypox in many countries at the same time suggests that the infection may not have been detected for some time,” WHO’s Tedros Adhanom said. Secretary-General Nomgebreyes said in a briefing earlier this month.
Monkeypox It is a disease caused by the orthopox virus, and the viruses that cause it belong to the same family as the viruses that cause smallpox and cowpox. Monkeypox is endemic in West Africa and Central Africa. Reports of it are rare in the United States, but not unheard of. (There were two reports last year, 47 cases in 2003 In outbreaks related to pet prairie dogs. )
At least in the United States this year 35 cases Percentage of monkeypox across 15 states, according to the CDC.The United States confirmed that First case Monkeypox occurred in mid-May and was added to the list of other countries that normally do not report cases of this disease (in other words, in countries where monkeypox is not endemic).Men who have sex with men Affected by disproportionate Current outbreaks in the United States and in other countries.
“Given the number of cases diagnosed in other countries, it was only a matter of time before the cases occurred in the United States,” said Dr. Ameshua Dalha, an infectious disease expert and senior scholar at Johns Hopkins. Health Security Center.
Scientists are trying to “know what’s happening epidemiologically,” Adalja said, explaining why most cases appear to be different from other outbreaks outside Africa, where they are concentrated. is doing.
“I think it’s something to watch over how widespread the spread is, but there’s no reason to be wary or panic about this,” Adalja said. Monkeypox is not new, and there are already some tools to stop the spread of the infection, such as the smallpox vaccine.
This is what we know.
What is monkeypox? How strict is it?
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease. In other words, it is transmitted from animals to humans. It is caused by the orthopox virus, which causes smallpox, which is considered to be clinically more severe than monkeypox.
There is Two “clades” of monkeypox virusAccording to the World Health Organization, including West African Clade and Congo Basin Clade. West African strains confirmed in recent cases, according to May 26 presentation According to WHO, the case fatality rate is less than 1%. According to the World Health Organization, mortality rates in the Congo Basin or the Ramification Group in Central Africa are as high as 10%.
Monkeypox was first discovered in the monkey colonies being studied in the 1950s. According to the CDCBut it is Was also found With squirrels, rats and other animals. The first human case was discovered in 1970.
How do you catch monkeypox? Do you want to compare with COVID?
Monkeypox Spread among people According to the CDC, it is primarily due to infectious pain, scabs, and contact with body fluids, but can also spread through prolonged face-to-face contact through respiratory droplets or contact with contaminated clothing or bedding. there is.
In a media briefing last week, Tedros said most cases of recent outbreaks have been reported in men having sex with men who have appeared in symptomatic sexual health clinics. Close contact with sexual partners can expose monkeypox, and current outbreaks are associated with social networks or sexual activity within some communities.
The gay and bisexual communities, in particular, “tend to take actions that demand high awareness and prompt health regarding the sexual health of them and their communities,” said Hans Henri P. Kruge, WHO’s European Regional Director. The doctor said: statement Last week, we noted that those seeking early medical services should be praised.
However, anyone can get monkeypox. Close contact “approach” is an important factor in the transmission of monkeypox. It sets it apart from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with the fact that the monkeypox-causing virus appears to regenerate slower than the COVID-19 virus. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health School said in a media briefing on Tuesday.
Scientists are still learning about monkeypox in a new epidemic, but “it doesn’t work like flu, COVID, chickenpox or measles. It’s a rapid epidemic in the unvaccinated community. “Measlesby said. “It works much more like a disease that requires close contact.”
“Overtaking someone in a grocery store is not at risk of monkeypox,” Dr. Jennifer McKistton, Deputy Director of High-Results Pathogens and Pathology, said at a briefing in May. At the CDC.
Many recent cases of monkeypox in Europe Caused lesions in the genital area It resembles the symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease like herpes, so you should ask to evaluate if you have an unexplained rash on your genitals, says Dr. John Brooks, an epidemiologist in the HIV / AIDS Prevention Department. Said at the CDC Media Briefing in May.
Monkeypox vs. Smallpox: How contagious are they?
Symptoms of monkeypox in humans are similar (but milder) smallpoxWHO declared it abolished in 1980.
Usually monkeypox infection It starts with flu-like symptomsFatigue, severe headache, fever, swollen lymph nodes, etc. According to the CDC, the rash usually develops within 1 to 3 days of fever (historically, the rash started on the face before it spread, but this is not always the case).Rash or monkeypox lesions are flat or raised, full of clear or yellowish liquid, and eventually It will dry and fall.
The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks. According to the CDC, the incubation period ranges from 5 to 21 days.
Importantly, Adalja said, “Monkeypox is not contagious during the incubation period and is not capable of spreading like certain viruses such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2.”
Is there a monkeypox vaccine?
yes.US Food and Drug Administration Approves JYNNEOS Prevent monkeypox Similar to smallpox. Since monkeypox is so closely associated with smallpox, smallpox vaccines are also effective against monkeypox. In addition to JYNNEOS, the United States has another smallpox vaccine called ACAM2000.
The US Department of Health and Human Services has added an additional 36,000 monkeypox vaccines to its stockpile. Reuters Reported on Monday. Vaccines can be distributed to people who are at high risk for monkeypox. CNBC Report, and they are not given to the general public.
In the UK, high-risk contacts for people with monkeypox Vaccine provided.. This type of targeted vaccination, what Adalja calls “ring vaccination,” isolates infected individuals and vaccinates their close contacts to prevent the spread of the infection. .. He said antivirals that act on smallpox will also affect monkeypox.
Dr. Daniel Pastura, head of neuroinfections at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and associate professor of neurology, medicine and epidemiology, said the vaccine was used by people who had been exposed to the vaccine but had not yet shown symptoms of salpox. Because the incubation period of the illness is very long.
“Basically what you’re doing is stimulating the immune system with a vaccine to make it aware of the virus before it builds up,” Pastura said.
But Healthcare and lab specialists Those who work directly with monkeypox are recommended to be vaccinated against smallpox (and even boosters). The original smallpox vaccine has not been released to the public and has not been widely administered in the United States since the early 1970s. For this reason, the spillover or “cross-defense” immunity from the smallpox vaccine is limited to the elderly. Who said According to WHO, vaccination against smallpox is about 85% effective For the prevention of monkeypox.
According to Pastura, recognizing the symptoms of monkeypox is helpful, but not the cause of panic, especially when more cases occur in the United States.
“This shows the need for public health,” Pastura said. “As we saw in COVID, it is very important to have a robust public health system and support our public health system.”
It also draws attention to the wide variety of viruses we live in. All zoonotic diseases () He said it is very important to monitor them as they can be serious.
“I think this shows that there are many threats of zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can jump from animals to humans,” Pastura said. This demonstrates the need for public health surveillance, he said. “But it also shows that we must be careful and careful in interacting with both wildlife and livestock.”
It is also a developing situation, he said, so the recommendations made by public health authorities will change as the information does-the same applies to all illnesses and new sciences.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informative purposes only and is not intended for health or medical advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have any questions about your medical condition or health goals.