Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It causes symptoms like fever and rashes that can take weeks to clear out. Monkey pox rashes are different from any other kind of rash. They are bigger and appear in places like the inside of your mouth, hands, feet, genitals, and anus.
How did monkeypox originate? Well, the first case of the disease was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. The source of the disease remains unknown, despite being called “monkeypox.” It’s a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be spread from animals to humans. It’s known that African rodents and primates like monkeys can carry the virus and infect people.
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The most cases of monkeypox have been recorded in areas of Africa, but it has been seen in other parts of the world as well. More cases of monkeypox have been reported in places like Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Western Pacific, and countries in the Eastern Mediterranean. More cases have been reported in 2022 countries like Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. It has been confirmed that there has been an outbreak of the virus, but the cause of the disease is still unknown. Monkeypox has been reported in countries like Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone before this outbreak began, but the cases weren’t as severe as they are now. Infrequent cases in other countries have been linked to travel from Nigeria.
How do you prevent monkeypox and help fight against it? Well, you have to keep proper hygiene and don’t come into contact with people who already have the disease. Coming in contact with an infected person’s fluid will no doubt get you infected. It can spread through any kind of contact. Kissing, touching, oral or penetrative sex with an infected person will get you infected. As mentioned earlier, the monkeypox virus appears in areas like the inside of the mouth, hands, feet, chest, genitals, and anus. Coming in contact with an infected person’s saliva, semen, or vaginal discharge will definitely get you infected. It’s advisable to stay away from infected people until they’ve been cured completely. If you’re having rashes in the genital area and anus, you should get diagnosed for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and monkeypox before taking part in any sexual activity.
People with the virus are also advised to use condoms for 12 weeks after they recover until more is known about the levels of the virus and potential infectivity in semen during the period that follows recovery. You should note that wearing a condom won’t protect you from catching monkeypox, but it will help protect you and others from a range of other STIs.
Monkeypox can resemble other infectious diseases such as chickenpox, herpes, and syphilis. But from the pictures seen above, we should be able to differentiate monkeypox from chickenpox. Although they both cause skin rashes, monkeypox and chickenpox are caused by different viruses, monkeypox is an orthopoxvirus, while chickenpox is a herpes virus.
How can monkeypox be treated?
If you’ve shown symptoms of the virus, you should probably consult a medical professional to get diagnosed. Monkeypox might be confused with smallpox and other rashes like herpes and chickenpox. People with monkeypox should consult their medical professional, who will prescribe the proper medication. Symptoms normally resolve on their own without the need for treatment. If needed, medication for pain (analgesics) and fever (antipyretics) can be used to relieve some symptoms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) are doing everything possible to fight against the outbreak. Read all about monkeypox and the affected regions here.
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