What is Monkey Pox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infections with mpox virus which belongs to the same family of viruses that includes variola virus (the cause of smallpox). This disease is also similar to smallpox but with a milder rash and lower death rate.
This disease is transmitted from both animal to human and also from human to human by direct contact with infected bodily fluid and also droplet respiration.
It recently broke out in Nigeria three weeks ago, starting from a family that showed symptoms after eating monkey meat in the Agbura area of Yenogoa, Bayelsa state. However, 31 suspected cases have been reported across seven states which includes Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River state.
MonkeyPox symptoms are lack of energy (asthenia), muscle pain (myalgia), headache, fever and rashes which could take a total period of 14 days before fully manifesting on the patient’s body.
Prevention and Cure
Currently, there are no specific cures for MonkeyPox infection but the outbreak can be controlled by the use of smallpox vaccines such as cidofovir ST 246 and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG). Taking into consideration the effects and treatment associated with this disease, it’s best to take preventive measures such as;
- Avoid contact with sick or infected people that already harbor the virus in areas where MonkeyPox has been reported.
- Avoid contact with any materials that have been in contact with infected animals or people.
- Quarantine the infected patients (best done by government hospitals) from the general public to prevent a monkeypox breakout.
- Wash your hands and body with antiseptic soap after contact with infected animals or humans.
- Make use of personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for infected patients.
- Avoid crowded spaces like public transport, banking halls or viewing centres to reduce the risk of human-to-human transmission. Close physical contact with MonkeyPox-infected people should be avoided in every way possible.
- Properly cook animal products such as meat, fish, before eating.