WHAT IS MONKEYPOX
Monkeypox is a viral disease that is similar to smallpox in humans and whose causative viruses are also related to the smallpox virus. It is a zoonosis, which means that the viral disease can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa. However, this disease in humans is similar to smallpox, but fatal outcomes are rare, monkeypox usually healed after a good three weeks.
History Of Monkeypox
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), monkeypox was first detected in humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970 – a nine-year-old boy was affected. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were then cases in more than ten countries on the continent. The pathogens can be transmitted by various animal species and thus, like the coronavirus, belong to the zoonoses .
Major affected regions
Mainly Central and West Africa
Pathogen reservoir is rodents
Route of infection
Infection is through infected secretions and droplet. Usually in contact with infected animals; Human-to-human transmission is possible with close contact
The incubation period is 5-21 days
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Sore throat
- Back pain
- Acute onset of fever (>38.5oC),
- Lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes)
- Myalgia (muscle and body aches)
- Back pain
- Asthenia (profound weakness)
- Occasional diarrhoea
- Feeling unwell
- In the second stage of the disease; A smallpox-like exanthema (skin rash) can occur.
- Fatal courses are rare, monkeypox is usually healed after a good three weeks
Historically, vaccination against smallpox had been shown to be protective against monkeypox. While one vaccine (MVA-BN) and one specific treatment (tecovirimat) were approved for monkeypox, in 2019 and 2022 respectively, these countermeasures are not yet widely available.
Prevention of monkeypox
Vaccination against smallpox also protected against monkeypox. But since smallpox has been eradicated and vaccination against smallpox has not been carried out for a long time, fewer and fewer people are protected. This could be a major factor in why monkeypox is spreading more. Vaccination is possible and permitted, but not yet available to the general public according to the WHO.