Notes on MONKEYPOX virus disease
By Sir (Prof.) Clement Emenike Anyiwo, Contributing Editor of USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica magazine. He is the chairman of the Health Ministry of the St. Philip-the-Apostle Anglican Church in Arlington, Texas.
Nobody knew that while the world is still struggling to contain and control the Coronavirus pandemic and its variants, that another virus will be loading t affect an embattled humanity. It behoves me to give a brief on the Monkeypox virus (MPV) disease, which has already, in so such a time, infected many individuals in Europe, US, Canada, Africa and Australia.
MPV was first discovered in 1958 in sick monkeys in Singapore, kept for research when 2 outbreaks of pox-like disease occurred.The first human case occurred in Ecuador, South America in 1970, ten years before Smallpox was globally eradicated in 1980. As if it was waiting to fill in the vacuum. Research has shown that this virus now occurs sporadically in heavily forested regions of Sub- Saharan Africa, notably Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.
MPV is a large DNA virus that belongs to the family of Poxviruses, called Poxvirudae, which includes Smallpox, Chickenpox and even Cowpox.
MPV can be transmitted, person- to- person through exchange of large respiratory droplets, such as in COVID-19, during prolonged face- to-face contact, bodily fluids, scratchy rash with red spots that get filled with fluids and pus, contaminated items like clothing and bedding.
According to CDC MPV disease, is comparatively a milder disease and does not spread easily within people.Based on their experience with the 47 cases identified in 2003 in the US, the CDC states that the symptoms starts as flu, then with rash, which starts like red spots first on the face, hands, forearms and later, within 24 hours, on the trunk and legs. A rehearsal for the New York and Massachusetts cases.
Symptoms develop from 5-21 days after infection. Most people recover after 2- 4 weeks during which time they are still contagious.A viral DNA Test by Polymerase Chain Reaction( PCR), just as in COVID19, is used for confirmation.
There is, at present, no proven treatment but doctors can treat symptoms.
Also, there are no specific vaccines for prevention. Although, the smallpox vaccine can be used to provide immunity and reduce symptoms.
It’s important to note that monkeypox and smallpox are related.