Thursday, July 7

What is monkeypox and why is it causing alarm? | Digital Trends Spanish

In Europe they are alarmed because a strange infection that was believed to be controlled has again generated outbreaks in the population: it is called monkeypox.

An endemic disease of Africa that until now, the monkey pox It had only been detected in four countries outside of Africa: the UK, the US, Israel and Singapore, all of which had links to Nigeria and Ghana. But now it has also been detected in Spain and Portugal.

It has been spread sexually and mainly among men, since it is linked to very close contact between humans or contact with animals such as primates and squirrels.

The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the infection has been reported in several countries in West and Central Africa since then.

The monkeypox virus belongs to the genus orthopoxviruses of the family Poxviridae. The gender orthopoxviruses also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.

Monkeypox begins with a fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. The main difference between the symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes the lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not. The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7 to 14 days, but can range from 5 to 21 days. Within 1-3 days (sometimes longer) after the onset of fever, the patient develops a rash, which often begins on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. It lasts two to four weeks.

The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if it is not visible), the respiratory tract, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). Animal-to-human transmission can occur by bite or scratch, bushmeat preparation, direct contact with bodily fluids or material from the lesion, or indirect contact with material from the lesion, such as through contaminated bedding. Person-to-person transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required. Other methods of person-to-person transmission include direct contact with bodily fluids or lesion material, and indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated clothing or bedding.

According to the US CDC “Currently, there is no proven and safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. In order to control an outbreak of monkeypox in the United States, smallpox vaccines, antivirals, and vaccinia immunoglobulin (VIG) may be used.”

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