Monkey pox is an infectious disease caused by virus Monkeypox. It is similar to smallpox virus but disease is less spreadable and milder as compare to smallpox disease. In past, cases of monkeypox are limited to African countries but nowadays, it is spreading outside and sporadically seen in all continents. The WHO has given alerted all countries and declared the monkeypox a public health emergency just like Coronavirus, H1N1 flu. According to centre for Disease Control, more than 23 thousand cases have been reported worldwide, whereas in India only 4 confirmed cases are reported. Nearly 90% of all cases are found in these 10 countries:- U.S, Spain, German, France, Brazil, Netherland, Canada, Portugal and Italy. In past few weeks, first case has been reported in India, Liberia, Sudan and Montenegro.
Parents should not worry about monkeypox in their children until they themselves catches infection. They should concern only if they are suffering from the disease as they might be transmitter to their children. As such there is no clustering of cases found in schools, so chances of transmission of infection through schoolmates are very less.
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Signs and symptoms:-
Monkey pox is self-limiting disease in which symptoms lasts for 2-3 weeks.
- Sore throat
- Rash on skin including palms and soles
Rash starts initially over face than spreads to extremities and trunk. It starts with reddish spot, slightly elevated, later on turns into pus filled lesions called pustules which may rupture to form scab. These scabs fall off with superficial scars which fade gradually. Oral mucosa can also develop ulcers.
In initial days, there is only fever, intense headache, swelling of neck lymph nodes, back pain, etc. Later on patient develops skin rash as mentioned above.
How to diagnose this Condition?
It can mimick other illness in which rash occurs like chicken pox, measles etc but swollen lymph nodes gives a clue to diagnose monkeypox. It can be confirmed via laboratory test that is PCR test sample taken from oral cavity or fluid from blister formed on skin.
How it spreads: –
- Skin to skin contact
- Face to face contact
- Infected surfaces
In children it spreads through hugging, kissing, cuddling, and feeding. It can also spread through infected objects like beddings, towel, and utensils.
Complications of Monkeypox:
- secondary infections
- case fatality ratio is 3-6%
The respiratory problems those seen in coronavirus like fall in oxygen saturation, difficulty in breathing and pain over chest are not usual in this monkeypox disease. So don’t panic about oxygen levels.
How to manage monkey pox:-
- treat fever with paracetamol tablet
- adequate rest
- do isolation
- adequate oral fluid and good diet
- antiviral agent like Tecovirimat (not yet widely available)
How to prevent:-
- regular hand washing
- disinfecting the surfaces
- avoiding contact with infected person
- Vaccines are available; they will be available only when required.