What is Monkeypox? | Explained

Monkeypox disease is caused by Monkeypox virus and it belongs of family of viruses same as smallpox. It’s a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Orthopox genus in the family Poxviridae. It’s more similar to smallpox and vaccina virus. Symptoms of Monkeypox virus includes headaches,fever, muscle aches, lymphadenopathy and characterstic rashes that develops into papules, vesicles and pustules and then heal with 2-4 weeks or earlier.

Clinical Diagnosis: If the rashes are accompanied by fever then there are more chances it might be MonkeyPox which can be confirmed only by a PCR test on the vesicular swab from the base of lesion (rash). If the rashes are more similar to MonkeyPox infection accompanied by a fever, then contact the Physician to have a PCR test done for MonkeyPox

Prevention & Vaccination : If a person has been already vaccinated for smallpox there are less chances of them contracting Monkeypox as the smallpox vaccine effectively acts as a deterrent against Monkeypox from the limited clinical data available but it would be more prudent to have a booster shot or vaccinate oneself if they are at more risk of contracting Monkeypox virus (Healthcare workers and people working at airports)

Treatment: If you suspect someone might have contracted Monkeypox within your household, first inform the healthcare workers and then give clinical care to the infected person to reduce their symptoms and manage complications which includes lot of rests as well as more fluid intake with nutritional food which might be prevent secondary bacterial infections. Antiviral agents tecovirimat which was developed for smallpox has been approved by Europeran Medicines Agency to be used against Monkeypox but it’s not widely available

MonkeyPox virus has been classified into 2 major strains they are WestAfrican and Congo Basin strains. Monkeypox (MPXV) 2022 outbreak is more due to West African strain and the previous outbreaks are also related to the same West African strain.