On May 18th, a man from Massachusetts was found to be positive for monkeypox. It was only the second U.S. case this year. Have a look at these Facts About Monkeypox and get to know the virus in detail.
Monkeypox is most often encountered in Africa; however, very rare instances in the U.S. and elsewhere are generally linked to travel to Africa. A small number of known or suspected cases have been recently reported across The United Kingdom, Portugal, and Spain.
Health officials across the globe are monitoring for new cases since, in the first instance ever, most cases are among those who did not travel to Africa.
On social networks, users have shared many questions regarding monkeypox. Some are wondering if this indicates that we’re heading to another pandemic that is global in scope. Monkeypox-related searches have also risen on Google after the Massachusetts incident was announced.
Here are four facts about the monkeypox we can verify.
Facts About Monkeypox
Here’s what we can verify:
1. Monkeypox first came to light in 1958 and was originally found in wild animals.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the illness was first recognized by researchers in 1958, when there were two instances of the “pox-like” illness in monkeys used for research — hence the name monkeypox.
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The disease is prevalent in wild animals such as rodents and primates. Also, occasionally, people get sick; however, human-to-human transmission is also possible.
The first human case of the disease was recorded in 1970 and involved a 9-year-old child in Africa in Africa, which is where the disease is currently widespread.
According to the World Health Organization estimates, there are thousands of monkeypox cases in around twelve African countries each year. Most of them occur located in Congo, where there are about 6 000 cases per year, and Nigeria, with about 3,000 cases per year.
The cases of monkeypox can be isolated and often seen outside of Africa and even within the U.S. and Britain. The symptoms are usually associated with traveling from Africa and/or contacting animals in areas where the disease is frequent.
The last time monkeypox was reported within the U.S. was in 2003, when 47 people were confirmed or suspected cases. They were infected through pet prairie dogs kept close to imported small mammals shipped from Ghana.
2. Monkeypox can be spread through close contact
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that monkeypox can be spread when someone is in contact with the virus through human or animal or any other material that is or are contaminated with the virus.
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The virus can enter the body via broken skin (even if it isn’t evident) or through the respiratory tract mucous membranes (eyes or noses and mouth).
Human-animal contact can occur when an infected animal is bitten or scratched by a human. Human-to-human transmission typically occurs via close contact with bodily fluids or the skin, lesions, or other objects recently contaminated, according to WHO and the CDC and which claim.
“Transmission through respiratory droplet particles typically requires frequent face-to-face contact and puts health workers’ family members, household members, and any other intimate contacts of patients at threat,” the WHO provides.
Saralyn Mark, M.D. was, a former medical advisor senior for The White House under President Barack Obama, told VERIFY she’s more concerned about COVID-19. She is not worried that the virus will spread to a large extent.
“The most basic measures of public health which we should use to stop coccidiosis are sure to be very effective against monkeypox. This is a condition that you have to have direct contact with someone. I’m much more worried about coronavirus right now,” Mark said.
3. The symptoms of monkeypox typically last between two and four weeks, and the mortality rate is between 3% and 6%.
According to WHO, most patients who contract monkeypox suffer from swelling, fever, and rash lymph nodes. The rash is usually mostly on the face and the extremities, but it can spread throughout the body in more severe cases.
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These symptoms generally last between 2 to 4 weeks. The typical duration is between two and four weeks, the WHO declares. The most severe cases are more frequent in children than those with chronic health problems.
Age groups between 40 and 50 (depending on the location) could be more prone to contracting the virus, the WHO states, as this group would not have been vaccinated against smallpox.
4. The monkeypox vaccine is offered to high-risk individuals over 18 years old.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a vaccine that will protect against smallpox and monkeypox in 2019. It is known as the Jynneos vaccine and is administered in two doses. It is recommended for those 18 or older and at risk of contracting monkeypox.
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This includes older adults, those with specific medical conditions, and women who have recently become pregnant.
The FDA stated that the vaccine doesn’t contain the virus that causes smallpox and monkeypox. In the past, before the vaccination against monkeypox, the smallpox vaccine protected against the virus monkeypox, WHO declares.
The most frequently reported adverse effects associated with the vaccine included swelling, redness, pain, Itching, firmness around the injection location, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue.