FAQ- Monkeypox

A few weeks ago the world woke up to more bad news, that an individual had tested positive for something called monkeypox, an orthopoxvirus that is in the family of smallpox. Since the world is still battling the CIVID-19 pandemic, it was only natural that some people would panic and speculate that this virus could be novel and lead to yet another pandemic.

We have tried to answer these frequently asked questions about monkey pox, hoping they will help you understand this outbreak and its properties.

Is Monkeypox similar to Smallpox? According to the World Health Organisation, Monkey pox is part of the Poxviridae family which includes smallpox, cowpox, horsepox, and camelpox which are all part of the same genus. However, it is milder than smallpox.

Can Smallpox vaccines and drugs be used to treat monkeypox? WHO has speculated that the vaccines and drugs used to eradicate and treat smallpox can offer some form of protection against monkeypox, but no affirmative stance has been taken by the organisation in relation to the treatment and eradication of the outbreak so far.

Who is at risk of contracting and becoming severely ill from monkeypox? Immunosuppressed people and young children are at risk of getting severely sick from monkeypox.

What is the Monkeypox estimated fatality rate? Currently, the fatality rate is estimated to be between 1 and 10%.

What are the symptoms of Monkeypox? The American CDC has said, it starts with Fever, Headache, Muscle aches, and Backache and these will follow, Swollen lymph nodes, Chills, and Exhaustion. Then they will develop a rash which usually starts on the face before spreading to other parts of the body. The incubation period of the virus is between one and three days and it can take up to 4 weeks for a person to recover.

Is monkeypox only found in homosexual men? While the majority of the cases detected so far have been detected on homosexual and bisexual men, however, anyone is at risk of getting monkey pox according to the CDC. The CDC also warned the LGBTQ community that they have a greater chance of exposure right now.

Is Monkeypox contagious? Monkeypox can spread in one of the following ways, through intimate contact during sex when someone has an active rash, through large respiratory droplets like saliva and mucus etc, through direct contact with bodily fluids or through contact with contaminated clothes or bedsheets.

How can I prevent myself from contacting monkeypox? Pre and post-exposure vaccination using smallpox vaccines, isolation and reporting any suspected cases immediately.

Check out some of our answers to some frequently asked questions on other subjects.

Women In Health Care

How A Healthy Workplace Environment Affects Your Bottomline

“if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together” is certainly something you were not expecting to read about in a healthy workplace etiquette series right? Well, the past 2 series have explained how to avoid office politics, and how not to offend your co-workers. All those blogs were building the foundation for today’s blog. Why must there be a healthy environment for your to work in, and how it may affect your bottom line.

One African slang proverb can be loosely translated to mean “Ambulance Drivers must always make sure to go to a patient with one thought in mind, to do their jobs”. This means when you go to work, you must, try and mind your own business, do your job and go back home. While it encourages us to carry out our mandates without minding things that do not concern us, because we have obligations to meet, we have to make sure we are working in an environment that is good for us. The problem is we work with others, we do not operate in a bubble, we need others to go far and we cannot dictate how situations turn out. According to Career Contessa, your workplace environment is toxic when:

  • there is poor communication
  • there is too much office politics
  • there is no forward movement or when there is stifled growth
  • it constantly leaves you with a burnout
  • there is no work-life balance
  • there is high staff turnover

While we can all ignore the toxicity of our work environments because we have obligations we have to meet, truth is that toxicity will affect our bottom line. Our productivity and efficiency are stifled by toxic work environments. This will in turn lead to a lack of motivation and poor employee morale. This will therefore impact production which will cascade into the organisation taking a financial or reputation knock which affects many people on many levels.

In short, a healthy workplace environment ensures that everything at an organisation is flowing smoothly like clockwork, continuously serving the purpose it was established for. An unhealthy environment is bad for the organisation and many people downstream. Management and the entire workforce must try and make sure the workplace is conducive for everyone by constantly consulting and communicating with relevant people because an unhealthy environment is bad for everyone’s bottom line.

District Nurses 1939

We Are Grateful, Morden Day Tech Has Enabled Us Immensely

This photo was taken in the US in 1939. It shows a bunch of district nurses and their bicycles. These healthcare workers would use these bicyles to fulfil their mandate to their patients. Cars and other transportation modes were still in their infancy or unheard of in some parts of the world. Fast forward to 2022, 83 years later, the world is even dicing with the idea of delivering medicine in some remote parts of the globe using drones. As workers in the healthcare industry, we have often marvelled and we will forever be grateful for modern medicine and how it has made our jobs easier, in some instances joyous and in most cases fulfilling.

We however have to pay homage to other players who have invented tools that make our lives in some if not most ways easy-going, helping us to cater and care for the community we swore to serve. Today, we thank the bike makers from 1939, and the helicopter and plane markers from the 20th century as we thank the automobile industry for giving us more tools to carry our fiduciary duty with ease. Imagine cycling to work every day (not because you want to but you have to) given our schedules and our routines, how were we going to cope as healthcare workers, I wonder!!!!

Photo Credits: Jerripedia

work-life balance

Workplace Etiquette Part 2: 3 Reasons Why You Should Probably Keep Your Work And Personal Life Separate

In this second article in the workplace etiquette series, we will list the reasons why you should try and keep your work life and your personal life separate. As previous;y mentioned in last week’s article it is commendable to at least interact and if comfortable socialise with coworkers. It is also commendable to find and whenever possible maintain a balance between your work and personal life. Some people work the entire week and weekend and dedicate little time to resting and unwinding. While it is imperative especially when projects, companies and businesses are still in their infancy, to dedicate more time to your work, sometimes it becomes addictive till one cannot separate their work from their personal life.

The major problem with burning the candle on both ends even when one is working on something that is in its formative stage is:

  • You will compromise the quality of your work sometimes because hate it or love it, the mind does not work too well if subjected to too much pressure.
  • You will have a hard time concentrating on some things and you will be easily distracted
  • You might not be that productive
  • Your energy will not be at the optimum level

So sometimes it’s better for you to leave your workplace and not carry your work home or work 7 days a week, or never take a day off the entire year because,

  1. Too much work will eventually take a toll on your body and you might achieve professional success but you might not be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour because you are not physically fit to run around like you used to.
  2. Working too hard and not taking enough rest does not necessarily translate to increased productivity and efficiency. If we all knew that in some cases, we need to work smarter and not harder, or in most cases working more and more doesn’t increase productivity because sometimes we increase our chances of a burnout which will set us back a few steps.
  3. You will probably miss out on special moments at home or you will be absent when special occurrences do occur. There are people that were not there when special eventualities happened. When their children were born, or graduated or took their first steps. When their family member passed away, when their family member got married etc. Yes, technology can help us now to catch up with these special occasions, however, lost time can never be regained and being there virtually will never substitute being there physically.

Well other writers on the subject of workplace etiquette, suggest how one can start the process of separating one’s work from their personal life. According to Forbes in order to separate your life from your work, you have to do the following :

  • Set boundaries – always set boundaries when trying to establish the work-life balance and never cross them or waiver from them.
  • Take a stand – stand your ground when the requests to work extra become too frequent and start encroaching onto your private life frequently
  • Find and offer solutions – if the problem persists, you should try and find a solution that will make life for your coworkers easy.

Workplace Etiquette

Workplace Etiquette Part 1: Tips On How Not To Step On Coworkers’ Toes Unknowingly

When I think of workplace etiquette I think of the time a coworker unknowingly insulted me by insinuating that I was unmarried because I was not “marriage material” a lady told me one day. In some African communities, some people view other people as marriage worthy and some as not. The lady in question is a free spirit and the coworker was trying to explain that in Africa, some communities are not as tolerant to free spirits and would not want free spirit daughters in law in their families. The coworker unknowingly offended this young lady she didn’t want to interact with him and she said she avoided him at all costs. Some of us, just like the marriage material free information sharing coworker have insulted or said something uncomfortable to our coworkers and they did not say anything but they were uncomfortable or offended nonetheless.

While it is commendable to at least interact and if comfortable socialise with coworkers, it is also recommended to try and not cross lines. While some lines are crossed unintentionally or unknowingly the following tips will help you stay in line when interacting with coworkers.

  1. Never ask them how much they are making – even if you are best friends, best buddies, even if your intentions are not motivated by competition and or jealousy, whatever angle you will ask this from, it will not come out right or professional.
  2. Never tell a coworker that you thought they were not going to get that promotion or project. Whether you are saying this because of management bias or office politics or you mean it as a compliment(if that’s possible) you are probably adding fuel to the fire and they might not tell you so because they don’t want to appear hurt or bothered but deep down you might have added 10 to a hundred.
  3. If possible, stay away from talking about a coworker’s physical fitness. Suggestions that a co-worker should join the gym, eat this or that to get on top of a situation, nomatter how noble or life-saving your suggestion might be, it might just offend them. Let them lead the conversation if your find yourself stuck in it.
  4. Never make suggestions on what coworkers should do with their children. Socilitated advice or not, kids are a sensitive topic to most parents, even if they are leading the conversation complaining about their children, truth is, they can only hear their own negative comments about their children, if it comes from someone else, it becomes an issue.
  5. Do not add fuel to the office politics fire. We cant talk about workplace etiquette without talking about office politics. As suggested in the previous article, its always a good idea to not fuel the office politics fire and this includes spreading rumours, making comments on ongoing feuds in the workplace etc, By doing this you are not stepping on any toes even the toes of those you don’t like because we all need each other one way or the other.
Women In Health Care

3 Things To Do To Avoid Office Politics At Your Workplace

Many of us have at some point in our careers found ourselves in some awkward situations at work I’m sure. Some of the situations are or were so deep-rooted some lost their jobs or were overlooked when it was promotion time because of office politics. An American Executive, Chris Chancey. speaking to the Business News Daily defines office politics as:

Workplace politics are the manifestation of power dynamics among co-workers. People leverage these power dynamics to further their own interests or that of a group they are affiliated with. Such behavior is inevitable, given that human beings are naturally political and will do whatever it takes to protect their own interests.

A good example of office politics is when a group of workers form a hostile alliance against their co-workers in a workplace. What are the dangers of office politics and why management should work hard to thwart office politics in an organisation? Because workplace politics

  • Can be divisive
  • Can be disruptive
  • Can create a hostile or tense environment
  • Might damage employee morale
  • Might lead to outcomes like lawsuits or financial ramifications

Is it possible to avoid office politics?, well in the Southern African nation of Zimbabwe, a common phrase is often heard especially among Twimbos (Zimbabweans on Twitter) and it says “Even if you don’t do politics, politics will still do you” This simply means even if you try by all means to avoid Zimbabwean politics, some decisions made in politics will still affect or frustrate you. Are Twimbos right? Yes. sometimes even if you voluntarily stay away from office politics, office politics will still yank you out from whatever place you are hiding and affect you and how you want your work-life to be.

So is it possible to avoid office politics, well I so wish to say no, because some manifestations of these power dynamics are beyond your control, but the truth is, it’s possible to avoid workplace politics. In case you are dying to create a safe impenetrable bubble around you at your workplace free of workplace politics, consider doing these three things.

  1. Do not take sides. In some situations, you might be prompted to side with your friends, the underdog or even the side you feel is right. Bear in mind even if you are backing the right side, it might end up being detrimental so the safest bet is to stay away completely.
  2. Openly and effectively communicate. Communication is one of the biggest causes of workplace politics. We have all heard, that it is better to over-communicate at times. By over-communicating, you are making your views, ideas, and side known. Everyone will know where you stand on the issues at hand. This will lead to others knowing and granting feedback better and keeping the lines of communication open.
  3. Do not fuel the fire. When I say do not take sides, it also means do not add fuel to the fire from outside. Taking any part in the power dynamics at play, spreading rumours, commenting on something and doing something that will contribute negatively to the hostile camps at the workplace will not be good for you at any level in office politics.