Monkeypox Virus: A Primer

Captain Stan The Mosquito (And Infectious Disease) Man July 2022 The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been closely tracking cases of a disease called ‘monkeypox’ recently detected in the United States. Here are some facts:
  • Monkeypox virus is related to the virus that causes smallpox. The disease is rarely fatal, and the virus is not related to chickenpox.
  • Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys kept for research. However, the source of the disease in nature remains unknown. It is possible that the animal reservoir is African rodents and perhaps non-human primates.
  • The first human case of monkeypox was reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of In the 2022 outbreak, as of July 13 there have been 1,053 cases reported in the United States and Puerto Rico.
  • Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash resembling pimples or blisters appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on several other parts of the body.
  • Monkeypox virus is transmitted in several ways. It can spread person-to-person through direct contact with the rash, scabs, or bodily fluids. It can also be spread via respiratory secretions or during intimate physical contact. The virus can also pass across the placenta. It is also possible to get monkeypox from infected animals in a few different ways. The GOOD NEWS is that there is no evidence whatsoever incriminating any biting arthropods in the transmission of monkeypox!
  • As with most viruses, there is no specific treatment for monkeypox.
As recent history has taught us, the world will continue to have outbreaks and epidemics of previously unknown diseases or appearances of re-emerging diseases such as monkeypox. Germs are nasty brutes!!!
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