Why is it called monkeypox?

According to experts, monkey pox was first detected in monkeys in 1958. The first human case was recorded in 1970 in Congo. Monkeypox virus belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus in the family Poxviridae. The disease, which is also related to smallpox, was eradicated in 1980, but with mild symptoms and a low mortality rate.

The reason it is called monkey smallpox without any other name is because the disease was originally discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks similar to smallpox occurred in monkeys in a research laboratory. However, scientists say that monkeys may not be the cause of the outbreak, and the source of the disease is currently unknown.

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The virus that causes monkeypox is seen through a microscope. (Photo: US CDC)

Symptoms of monkeypox

The incubation period for monkeypox (time from infection to symptoms) is 7-14 days but can be 5-21 days. The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks, symptoms can appear anywhere on the body 5-21 days after infection.

People with monkeypox usually have initial symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, back pain, headache, chills, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes.

With fever, the patient will develop an itchy rash after 1-3 days. Pustules usually start on the face and then spread to many other parts. The number of pustules can range from a few to several thousand. These pustules will then burst and scab over before disappearing.

The key difference between the symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes the lymph nodes to swell whereas smallpox does not.

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The hand of a man with monkeypox. (Photo: CDC)

How to treat monkeypox?

There are currently two strains of monkeypox, one in West Africa and one in the Congo. The Congo strain is heavier than the West African strain. Statistically, patients with West African smallpox are mostly and mild with a mortality rate of about 1%. Meanwhile, the strain in the Congo is often more severe and has a mortality rate of up to 10%.

According to experts, usually, monkeypox is benign, has limited spread and can go away on its own after a few weeks. However, in some cases doctors can use antiviral drugs to limit the spread and reduce the risk of serious illness.

There is currently no vaccine for monkeypox, but according to experts, vaccines Prevention of smallpox was up to 85% effective against monkeypox. Therefore, people should get the smallpox vaccine as soon as possible.

In addition, because it is spread through close contact, the best way to prevent monkeypox is to regularly wash hands, disinfect, disinfect surfaces and isolate when showing symptoms…

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Test tubes of people infected with monkeypox. (Photo: Reuters)

How to prevent monkeypox?

According to the Ministry of Health, to prevent monkeypox, people should pay attention.

– Avoid close contact with people with smallpox, avoid direct contact with wounds, body fluids, droplets and contaminated objects and utensils.

– Wash your hands often with soap and common hand sanitizer.

– Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.

– People with symptoms of suspected cases should actively contact medical facilities for timely monitoring and advice.

– People with symptoms of suspected cases should actively self-isolate and avoid sex; People who are confirmed to have the disease must be medically isolated until they are cured of the disease.

– People traveling to countries with endemic monkeypox should avoid contact with sick mammals such as rodents, marsupials, primates (dead or alive) that may contain pox virus Monkey season, do not eat or come into contact with wild animals, do not eat undercooked meat, or eat infected animal products.

According to WHO, as of May 25, 2022, the world recorded more than 158 cases of disease, 117 suspected cases in 19 countries and no deaths. The detected cases did not have a history of travel from an endemic area and the countries where the case was reported had no previous endemicity of monkeypox.

The confirmed cases are West African monkeypox virus infection and monkeypox virus-like trait that spread from Nigeria to several countries in 2018, 2019. WHO forecasts monkeypox epidemic will continue. continue to increase the number of cases in the near future.

There have been no cases of monkeypox in Vietnam so far. However, according to the Department of Preventive Medicine (Ministry of Health), functional units in the country are still closely monitoring monkeypox to prevent the disease from entering Vietnam. The Department is also working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to promptly update information on the disease as well as response measures.

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