What is monkeypox and how is it spread?

Lately, there have been diseases that have not been presented in years, like monkeypox, and that in some countries has already been confirmed. In Mexico, the Ministry of Health clarified that in Mexico there has been no case of monkeypox, which has already been detected in some European countries and the United States.

Through Twitter, he pointed out that false information is circulating about an alleged case that is treated at the General Hospital of Xoco and adds that the condition occurs to a greater extent in men who are intimate with other men, for which various groups have requested that information not be generated that may violate their rights.

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But what is monkeypox? It is a rare infection, usually mild., which is spread from infected wild animals in parts of Africa. It was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys kept for research, hence the name, with the first recorded human case in 1970, according to the World Health Organization. The disease is a relative of smallpox and causes a rash that often starts on the face, according to the UK’s NHS website.

Smallpox

How is it spread?

Monkeypox can be contracted from the bite of an infected animal or by touching its blood, body fluids, or fur. It is thought to be spread by rodents such as rats, mice, and squirrels. It is also possible to get the disease by eating meat from an infected animal that has not been cooked properly.

It is very rare to get monkeypox from a human, because it does not spread easily from person to person. But it is possible to spread the disease by touching clothing, bedding, or towels used by someone with the rash. The disease can also be spread by touching monkeypox blisters or crusts on the skin, or by getting too close to an infected person when coughing or sneezing.

Symptoms

If you are infected with monkeypox, the first symptoms usually take between five and 21 days to appear. These include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen glands, chills, and exhaustion. A rash usually appears one to five days after experiencing these symptoms.

The rash is sometimes mistaken for chickenpox, because it begins as raised spots that turn into small, fluid-filled scabs. Symptoms usually go away within two to four weeks and the scabs fall off.

How serious is it?

Studies in central Africa, where people have less access to quality health care, show that the disease kills one in 10 infected people, according to the World Health Organization. However, most patients recover within a few weeks if treated early.

Vaccination

Several observational studies have shown that smallpox vaccination is about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. Therefore, prior smallpox vaccination may result in milder disease. Evidence of previous smallpox vaccination can usually be found as a scar on the upper arm.

Currently, the original (first generation) smallpox vaccines are no longer available to the general public. Some laboratory staff or health care workers may have received a newer smallpox vaccine to protect them from exposure to orthopoxviruses in the workplace.

In 2019, an even newer vaccine based on a modified attenuated vaccinia virus (Ankara strain) was approved for the prevention of monkeypox. It is a two-dose vaccine whose availability remains limited.

Prevention

Raising awareness of risk factors and educating people about steps they can take to reduce exposure to the virus is the main prevention strategy for monkeypox. Scientific studies are currently underway to assess the feasibility and suitability of vaccination for the prevention and control of monkeypox.

Some countries have, or are developing, policies to offer vaccines to people who may be at risk, such as laboratory staff, rapid response teams, and health workers.

Is there a cure?

Patients will usually need to stay in a specialized hospital so that the infection does not spread and general symptoms can be treated. There is a vaccine and a specific treatment.

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Smallpox

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I am a woman who likes to learn new things and meet people. Study communication and law. I started my professional career as a reporter in 2009, so I have had the opportunity to get to know stories and places. Throughout this time I have covered almost all sources in the media of Hidalgo and Mexico City. My favorite subjects are human rights, music and royalty.

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