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.

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