MONKEYPOX, SYMPTOMS AND PREVENTION - CALIPHATE MEDIA

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

MONKEYPOX, SYMPTOMS AND PREVENTION




 Image result for monkeypox photos
Following the outbreak of the monkey pox virus in Bayelsa State recently, other suspected cases have been reported in six more states in the country, bringing the total number of suspected cases so far to 31.
The states that have reported cases of the virus are Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River.
 Image result for monkeypox photos

         Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals such as rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian rats, striped mice, dormice and primates (monkeys, apes, chimpanzees)
Monkeypox is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae
·        Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
·        The monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans and, although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder.
·        The monkeypox virus is transmitted to people from various wild animals but has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.
·        Typically, case fatality in monkeypox outbreaks has been between 1% and 10%, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.
·        There is no treatment or vaccine available although prior smallpox vaccination was highly effective in preventing monkeypox as well.
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                SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 16 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.
The infection can be divided into two periods:
  • The invasion period (0-5 days) characterized by fever, intense headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph node), back pain, myalgia (muscle ache) and an intense asthenia (lack of energy);
  • The skin eruption period (within 1-3 days after appearance of fever) where the various stages of the rashes appear, often beginning on the face and then spreading elsewhere on the body. The face (in 95% of cases), and palms of the hands and soles of the feet (75%) are most affected. Evolution of the rash from maculopapules (lesions with a flat bases) to vesicles (small fluid-filled blisters), pustules, followed by crusts occurs in approximately 10 days. Three weeks might be necessary before the complete disappearance of the crusts.
 Image result for monkeypox photos
The number of the lesions varies from a few to several thousand, affecting oral mucous membranes (in 70% of cases), genitalia (30%), and conjunctivae (eyelid) (20%), as well as the cornea (eyeball).
Some patients develop severe lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) before the appearance of the rash, which is a distinctive feature of monkeypox compared to other similar diseases.
Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 14 to 21 days. Severe cases occur more commonly among children and are related to the extent of virus exposure, patient health status and severity of complications.
People living in or near the forested areas may have indirect or low-level exposure to infected animals, possibly leading to subclinical (asymptomatic) infection.

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                      PREVENTION

Humans should avoid eating of primates and squirrels of any kind

·        All forms of romance/ intercourse with primates should be totally condemned

·        Preventing monkeypox expansion through restrictions on animal trade
·        Restricting or banning the movement of small African mammals and monkeys may be effective in slowing the expansion of the virus outside Africa.
·        Captive animals should not be inoculated against smallpox. Instead, potentially infected animals should be isolated from other animals and placed into immediate quarantine. Any animals that might have come into contact with an infected animal should be quarantined, handled with standard precautions and observed for monkeypox symptoms for 30 days.
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·        TREATMENT AND VACCINES

·        There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for monkeypox infection, but outbreaks can be controlled. Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox in the past but the vaccine is no longer available to the general public after it was discontinued following global smallpox eradication. Nevertheless, prior smallpox vaccination will likely result in a milder disease course.
REDUCING THE RISK OF INFECTION IN PEOPLE
During human monkeypox outbreaks, close contact with other patients is the most significant risk factor for monkeypox virus infection. In the absence of specific treatment or vaccine, the only way to reduce infection in people is by raising awareness of the risk factors and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus. Surveillance measures and rapid identification of new cases is critical for outbreak containment.
Public health educational messages should focus on the following risks:
  • Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission. Close physical contact with monkeypox infected people should be avoided. Gloves and protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill people. Regular hand washing should be carried out after caring for or visiting sick people.
  • Reducing the risk of animal-to-human transmission. Efforts to prevent transmission in endemic regions should focus on thoroughly cooking all animal products (blood, meat) before eating. Gloves and other appropriate protective clothing should be worn while handling sick animals or their infected tissues, and during slaughtering procedures.
·       CONTROLLING INFECTION IN HEALTH-CARE SETTINGS
·        Health-care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed monkeypox virus infection, or handling specimens from them, should implement standard infection control precautions.
·        Healthcare workers and those treating or exposed to patients with monkeypox or their samples should consider being immunized against smallpox via their national health authorities. Older smallpox vaccines should not be administered to people with comprised immune systems.
·        Samples taken from people and animals with suspected monkeypox virus infection should be handled by trained staff working in suitably equipped laboratories.

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