- A new survey by Annenberg Public Policy Center showed about 20% of people are concerned about getting monkeypox.
- The monkeypox virus is not new, and there’s a vaccine available.
- Monkeypox is a serious health issue, but it is typically not deadly. Still, experts say knowledge, caution, and vaccination, when applicable, are important.
When the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source learned of a verified case in a person from Britain who had just returned from a trip to Nigeria, news of the monkeypox virus started making headlines in the United States in May.
The first confirmed incidence in the United States occurred in a Massachusetts man on May 18.
Two states — New York and California — subsequently declared states of emergency due to the monkeypox outbreak more than two months later.
The nomenclature may sound all too familiar because COVID-19 is still regarded as a pandemic on a worldwide scale. According to a national survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, 1 in 5 Americans are scared about contracting monkeypox. This is a new health risk.
It’s a lower rate than people who worry about contracting COVID. Another problem with knowledge of monkeypox, according to Annenberg, is that 66% of people are either unsure or do not think there is a monkeypox vaccine.
In addition, false and misleading information regarding monkeypox is disseminated more quickly than the virus itself.
We asked medical professionals to respond to frequently asked concerns regarding monkeypox and the best ways for people to protect themselves in order to assist spread awareness and dispel myths. Here is what they said.
According to Dr. Thomas Yadegar, medical director of the intensive care unit at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, monkeypox is a viral infection that is related to the smallpox virus. It is a self-limiting illness, therefore as time goes on, the infection should go away on its own.
Although Americans may only recently have heard about monkeypox, the virus is not new.
According to Rachel Cox, DNP, FNP-BC, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, “the monkeypox virus was first found in monkeys in 1958, and later in humans in the early 1970s.” Although the symptoms of monkeypox and smallpox are similar, monkeypox is often less severe and considerably less likely to be fatal.
Symptoms of monkeypox include;
- body aches
- respiratory symptoms, such as a sore throat, cough, and nasal congestion
- swollen lymph nodes
The rashes can also extend up to;
According to Cox, “the rash frequently starts as flat lesions that develop into raised lesions that resemble blisters or pimples, then fill with fluid and pus.” As long as the rash is there, the skin may be extremely painful and sensitive. “The blisters typically develop a crust or scab before falling off, possibly leaving scars on the skin.”
SPREAD OF MONKEYPOX
The majority of instances of monkeypox at the moment are in guys who have intercourse with other men. No one is immune to monkeypox infection, says Dr. Michael Chang, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hermann in Houston. Your age, sexual preference, or state of health are irrelevant to it.
Children and adults, healthy or immunocompromised, Chang claims that everybody is susceptible to monkeypox. Chang claims that skin-to-skin contact is the main method of transmission. This contact could be with;
Close or direct contact, which is typically defined as sexual activity, hugging, kissing, or prolonged face-to-face contact, touching unwashed objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that were used by someone with monkeypox, though this mode isn’t as common, is another way to contract the disease.
According to Chang, a woman who is pregnant can pass the virus to her unborn child through the placenta.
According to Chang, the majority of cases of monkeypox in the past were in children who had come into touch with diseased animals, but this doesn’t appear to be the situation with the current outbreak. The cause of a 2003 outbreak in the US was identified as infected prairie dogs.
IS MONKEYPOX A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE?
There is no sexually transmitted infection known as monkeypox. However, Toronto-based infection control specialist Erica Susky claims that people are wrongly mislabeling it as such.
Close connections of a non-sexual nature may also be a cause of transmission, according to Susky. “The misperception is that HIV is a sexually transmitted infection,” she says. Hugging, kissing, and near face-to-face contact are a few examples of close skin-to-skin contact. Even though sexual contact presents another chance for viral transmission, all of these encounters might not be sexual in nature.
Monkeypox is not regarded as an STI even though it can be transmitted sexually, as skin-to-skin contact is the main method of transmission.
IS MONKEYPOX FATAL?
According to Dr. Douglas Chiriboga of the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, this particular monkeypox is rarely lethal. “The monkeypox that we are currently dealing with is a West African kind.”
However, Chiriboga and other experts warn that some populations are more vulnerable to death. Unvaccinated youngsters and groups with compromised immune systems “maybe [deadly],” according to Chang.
According to Cox, between 1 and 10 percent of the population has perished during prior outbreaks. According to Cox, scientists are now learning more about how to treat the condition and avoid significant repercussions.
ARE THERE REMEDIES FOR MONKEYPOX?
Dr. Jay Varma, Kroll’s chief medical advisor, a Kroll Institute Fellow, and the head of the Cornell Center for Pandemic Prevention and Response, emphasizes that there is presently no treatment for monkeypox.
There are some remedies, though. According to Varma, the CDC sells Tecovirimat (trade name TPOXX) to medical professionals.
“During this epidemic, several patients who have used this medication have stated that it helped clear up their rash more quickly and significantly lessened their pain,” says Varma.
Monkeypox is a self-limiting disease, according to Cox.
According to Cox, monkeypox often goes away on its own after two to four weeks. However, young people and people with certain medical issues could get sicker more quickly.
IS ANY VACCINATION AVAILABLE FOR MONKEYPOX?
According to Varma, people are receiving one of two smallpox vaccines that are currently available and have been shown effective against monkeypox:
ACAM2000, the first smallpox vaccination, and JYNNEOS, a more recent shot
The vaccine is thought to be about 85% efficient at preventing monkeypox, however, there is currently little available research.
To give a more precise approximation of the vaccine’s actual level of protection, researchers are currently conducting tests on patients while this outbreak is still ongoing, according to Varma.
The CDC advises vaccination for anyone whoReliable Source:
have specific vocations, such as laboratory workers who directly handle animals with orthopoxviruses that represent an infection risk to people who have been exposed to monkeypox in the last 4 to 14 days
IS MONKEY MONEKYPOX AN EMERGENCY?
If monkeypox rarely results in death, why do states issue emergency declarations? Why did the WHO make the exceptional decision to declare a global health emergency?
Monkeypox, according to Varma, “causes considerable pain and misery in most patients for several weeks in numerous regions of the body.” “In certain cases, the pain can be so intense that hospitalization is necessary, the rash can leave long-lasting scars on the skin or become bacterially infected, and/or the illness can harm the brain, eyes, and lungs.”
Varma further points out that scientists and medical professionals did not become aware of some of the impacts of other viruses, such as COVID-19, until much later.
According to Susky, it also presents a greater risk to vulnerable groups including children and the immunocompromised.
OUTBREAK AT A GLANCE
As of 22 June 2022, 920 probable instances of severe acute hepatitis in children with an unknown origin that meet the WHO case definition have been reported by 33 countries in five WHO regions. Since the latest Disease Outbreak News was published on May 27, 2022, 270 additional probable cases—including ones from four new countries—have been reported to WHO.
The publishing of updated interim recommendations on laboratory testing, the introduction of the clinical case report form on the WHO Global Clinical Platform, and updates on the epidemiology of the epidemic are all included in this Disease Outbreak News. It is unusual to see severe acute hepatitis in children across five WHO regions, and the serious clinical consequences of certain cases call for further investigation.