What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare infectious disease caused by monkeypox virus from the Orthopoxvirus group. Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958, where there were two outbreaks of smallpox-like diseases that occurred in groups of monkey that were nurtured for research. That is why, the disease was later named ‘monkeypox’.
In 1970, monkeypox cases were first discovered in humans in Congo, Africa. Since then, monkeypox has reportedly attacked humans and become an endemic disease in several African countries, notably Central Africa and West Africa. Outside Africa, monkepox infection was discovered in 2003 in the United States, and in 2018 in the United Kingdom and Israel.
What causes monkeypox?
Monkey pox disease is caused by the monkeypox virus, which spreads through the saliva splash of the sufferer, which enters through the eyes, mouth, nose, or wounds on the skin. In addition to saliva splashing, transmission can also be through contaminated objects, such as the patient’s clothing. Even so, this transmission from human to human is limited and requires long contact.
Transmission of monkey pox initially occurs from animal to human, namely through scratches or bites of animals infected with monkeypox virus, such as monkeys or squirrels. In addition to being scratched or bitten, exposure to the animal’s bodily fluids directly or through contaminated objects can also cause a person to contract monkeypox disease.
What Is Monkeypox Symptoms?
People infected with monkeypox virus will begin to show their first symptoms after 6-16 days after exposure. (See FAQ)
However, as long as it does not present symptoms a person can still transmit the monkey pox virus to others.
The initial symptoms of this disease are the same as chicken pox caused by viral infections, which give rise to flu-like symptoms.
Reported from WHO, the appearance of symptoms of monkeypox is divided into two periods of infection, namely the invasion period and the period of skin eruption. Here’s the explanation:
The period of invasion occurs within 0-5 days after first becoming infected with the virus. When a person is in the invasion period, he will show some symptoms of monkey pox, such as:
- Severe headaches
- Lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph nodes)
- Muscle pain
- Severe weakness (asthenia)
Swelling of the lymph nodes is the distinguishing feature between monkey pox and other types of smallpox. Non-variola smallpox infections, such as chicken pox and shingles, do not cause swelling of the lymph nodes.
In the case of severe symptoms, an infected person may experience other health problems in the early days of infection.
As the case was studied in the study clinical manifestations of Human Monkeypox. Groups of patients exposed to the virus through the mouth or respiratory tract show respiratory distress such as coughing, laryngitis, and runny nose.
Meanwhile, patients who were bitten directly by infected animals also experienced nausea and vomiting in addition to fever.
Period of skin eruption
This period occurs at 1-3 days after the fever appears. The main symptom in this phase is the appearance of a skin rash.
The rash first appears on the face and then spreads throughout the body. The face and palms and feet are the areas most affected by this rash.
The appearance of rashes can also be found on mucous membranes located in the throat, genital area, including eye tissue and cornea.
The rash usually begins with spots until it turns into vesicles or blisters, which are skin blisters that contain fluid. Within a few days, the rash will turn dry forming a crust (scab) on the skin.
The development of rashes ranging from spots to scabs on the skin generally occurs within approximately 10 days. It takes about three weeks for the entire scab on the skin of the body to peel off on its own.
The transmission of smallpox can be through animals as well as humans. Animals that may be transmitted to humans are monkeys, mice, or squirrels.
Here are some ways of transmitting monkey pox from animals to humans:
- Bites of animals such as monkeys, mice, or infected squirrels.
- Direct contact with infected animals.
- Consumption of meat of infected animals.
Meanwhile, transmission between humans is through droplet infection (saliva). Things that allow transmission are such as:
- Direct contact with an infected person.
- Direct contact with objects exposed to the body fluids of an infected person, including sharing food and drinks with an infected person.
A person who has a low immune system is likely to contract monkey pox more easily than someone whose immune system is good.
Monkey Pox Diagnosis
In the early stages of the examination, the doctor will check the symptoms and the type of rash that appears. The doctor will also ask about the history of traveling from a country that has a case of monkey pox.
The appearance of a rash alone does not necessarily indicate monkey pox. Therefore, the doctor will perform a follow-up examination to see the presence of the virus in the body, namely through:
- Blood test
- Throat swab test
- Skin biopsy, by taking a sample of skin tissue to be examined with a microscope.
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Monkey Pox FAQ
What is monkeypox period?
The period when the virus is not actively multiplying in the body is known as the incubation period. The incubation period of monkey pox virus can range from 6-13 days. However, it can also occur in a longer range of 5-21 days.
CGD Disease Life Expectancy