India recently reported its first case of monkeypox with a Keralite who returned from the UAE testing positive for the virus, prompting the Centre to rush a high-level multi-disciplinary team to collaborate with the State Health Authorities in instituting public health measures. The case was confirmed through the testing of the samples of the symptomatic person at the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
What is Monkeypox
Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, said “Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions. Monkeypox is caused by monkeypox virus. Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes. Monkeypox virus is mostly transmitted to people from wild animals such as rodents and primates, but human-to-human transmission also occurs. Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. Typically, up to a tenth of persons suffering from monkeypox may die, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.”
Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Senior Consultant- Internal Medicine, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram, said “Monkeypox virus is a type of viral infection. This is the same type of infection as smallpox used to be. This infection is found in the countries of Africa. If the animals there are infected with this infection, if humans come in contact with them, then this virus spreads to humans. This virus is also transmitted to humans by coming in contact with a dead animal infected with this virus. Whereas when there is news of monkeypox cases being found outside Africa, it is probably people infected with animals in Africa.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
Almost the same symptoms are seen in this as in viral infection. Symptoms such as fever, headache, body ache, extreme weakness, feeling tired, etc. are also seen in monkeypox. Monkeypox infection is different from smallpox because it is a milder infection than smallpox. Because this virus is found only in the jungles of Africa or African countries. It has been observed that the virus spreads through contact with other rats, squirrels, and other similar animals.
It is important to tell you that if a person comes in contact with an animal infected with monkeypox, then he will be infected with this virus. This virus does not spread from human to human because very few or no such cases have been seen. If an animal is infected with this virus and it has died, then it can spread to humans by coming in contact with it. If humans come in contact with the feces, urine or meat of an infected animal, then this virus can still be spread in it.
You can become infected with this virus even if an infected animal bites or scratches you. If you are going to the forest, do not touch anything unnecessarily. Do not touch dead animals. If you touch something, clean your hands. As of now, there is no definite cure for it. However, we have 2 vaccines available to prevent it.