What you need to know about Monkey Pox Virus  

October 19, 2017 by


  1. Monkey pox is an infectious disease caused by the monkey pox virus.
  2. The disease was first identified in laboratory monkeys, hence its name, but in its natural state it seems to infect rodents more often than primates.
  3. The disease is indigenous to Central and West Africa. An outbreak that occurred in the United States in 2003 was traced to a pet store where imported Gambian pouched rats were sold.
  4. The human monkey pox is caused by a virus belonging to the genus
  5. Transmitted from animals to human, with symptoms similar to those of smallpox, although less severe.
  6. The virus was isolated from primate issues in 1958.
  7. In 1970, human monkey pox was identified the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
  8. The overall case-fatality in Africa has been reported to be between1% 10%, with as high as 17% in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  9. A majority of the cases appear in children under the age of 15years and the mortality in this age group is much higher
  10. A second African focus of infection has been discovered in Sudan. No infected patients died.
  11. The outbreak originated from Villa Park, Illinois, outside of Chicago, when an exotic animal dealer kept young prairie dogs in close proximity to an infected Gambian pouched rat(Cricetomysgambianus) recently imported from Accra, Ghana. Seventy-one people were reportedly infected, of which there were no fatalities.
  12. The first case was reported on September 22, 2017 in Bayelsa, and according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 31 suspected cases have been reported across seven states including Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River.
  13. Monkeypox occurs sporadically in some remote parts of central and West Africa. It was first discovered in monkeys hence the name, monkeypox.
  14. The disease was first identified in 1958 by the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, during an investigation into a pox-like disease among monkeys.
  15. The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox.
  16. The infection can be contracted from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals like monkeys, Gambian giant rats, squirrels, and rodents. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor.
  17. The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, and exhaustion. The main difference between symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell while smallpox does not. The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5−21 days. Within the first three days or more, after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.
  18. Secondary, or human-to-human, transmission can result from close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by patient fluids or lesion materials.
  19. Monkey pox can be transmitted from human to human through physical touch, contact with stool, blood contact. Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkey pox occurs).
  20. Practice good hand hygiene with or without contact with infected animals or humans. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  21. Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick animal or person. Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
  22. Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkey pox in the past but the vaccine is no longer available to the public after it was discontinued following global smallpox eradication in 1980.
  23. Monkey pox has been shown to cause death in about as 10 percent of those who contract the disease. Children are more susceptible to the infection.
  24. There is presently no known or proven, safe treatment for monkey pox virus infection.

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