THE HEALTH AND FITNESS BLOG
Should You be Worried About Monkeypox?
May 24, 2022 – By Dr. Haider Khalid
Recently, an outbreak of a viral disease has occurred in several countries around the globe. In addition, officials have reported more than 100 cases of monkeypox in countries where it does not typically occur (6). This sudden outbreak has caused panic among people, as they have had a previous devastating experience with Covid-19.
But let me tell you that monkeypox is not a novel disease, and several outbreaks have occurred in the past. So here in this article, you will get all the information about the monkeypox. And by the end of it, you probably feel less worried about the present outbreak.
What is Monkey Pox?
Monkeypox is a viral disease. The patients with monkeypox invariably present with multiple blisters on the body. This rash is similar to that present in patients with chickenpox or syphilis (2).
It is a zoonotic disease that spreads from animals to humans. As evident from its origin, it typically occurs in forests located in western and central Africa. Therefore, those who live near woods are more likely to get the disease than those living in urban cities.
How does Monkey Pox Virus Enter Your Body?
You probably wonder how a disease that occurs only in or near forests came into developed countries with metropolitan cities. The answer to this question lies in imports and tourists flowing to the country. Conclusively, the disease first emerged in the USA after importing wild rodents from Africa (5).
There are several ways through which the monkeypox virus can enter your body. For your convenience, we will discuss these features in two groups.
- Spread of virus from animal to human:
You can get the disease from direct contact with the infected animal or by eating improperly cooked flesh. It can also spread through the scratch and bites of infected animals.
- Spread of virus from human to human
You can get the disease after exposure to the contents of the vesicles of an infected individual. After its release from the rash, a virus can enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth cavity. Damaged skin is also at greater risk of exposure to the virus.
How a Patient Presents with Monkey Pox?
A patient of monkeypox typically presents with flu-like symptoms.
- Fever, sometimes chills may also be present.
- Rash that usually appears 1 to 3 days after the fever
- Body pains
- Malaise and fatigue
- Swollen lymph nodes
The symptoms of monkeypox usually last for two to four weeks, after which the disease subsides on its own.
How Does Monkey Pox Different from Chicken Pox?
The first reported case of monkeypox dates back to 1970. At that time, people knew little about it. Hence, doctors have misdiagnosed several hundred cases of monkeypox as chickenpox. The rash that appears in chickenpox is pretty similar to the rash of the monkeypox. Additionally, some other features correlate with both diseases mentioned above (1).
- Regional Pleomorphism: (Pleo: different, Morph: shape) It is a condition in which blisters of various forms co-occur on the body. This condition is present in both chickenpox and monkeypox.
- Centripetal Distribution of Rash: It is a type of distribution in which rash most commonly occurs on the trunk and less frequently on the face and extremities.
Regardless of several similarities, some features are more consistent with monkeypox. Hence, doctors use these features to develop the confirmed diagnosis of the patient with monkeypox. Some of the essential features are the following.
- Swollen lymph nodes present as firm, nodular swellings in the neck, armpit, and groin regions.
- Presence of fever before the eruption of the blisters on the skin
- Slower maturation of the vesicles
How to Diagnose a Patient?
Always consult the doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above. Never try to jump on diagnosis all by yourself. When you visit your doctor, he will take your medical history and look for critical signs of the monkeypox lesions. He will not probably order laboratory investigations, as these cannot differentiate monkeypox from other viral diseases.
Here is What You Can Do for its Prevention!
In the 1980s, people were less susceptible to monkeypox because the smallpox vaccine also prevented it. But with the eradication of smallpox, the use of its vaccine also diminished. Therefore, nowadays, the effective prevention of the spread of monkeypox involves the following steps.
- Avoid contact with infected individuals.
- Maintain good personal hygiene
- Wear a mask to prevent virus entry into your bodylady in mask
The presence of other chronic diseases such as diabetes increases your risk of having the infection. Additionally, uncontrolled sugar levels also augment the risk of severe infections and complications (7). Therefore, having tight control of your blood sugar levels would help fight monkeypox and other infectious diseases.
According to scientific literature, the education of two community groups is essential for better-preventing monkeypox. These groups include (4),
- People with a weakened immune system
- Health care workers
Is There Any Treatment?
There is no definite therapy for the treatment of monkeypox viral infection. In most cases, the disease resolves spontaneously without any treatment. However, symptomatic management of the patients in severe illness cases can help reduce the severity of the disease. Moreover, certain antiviral medications and smallpox vaccines effectively combat the outbreak.
Natural Treatment or Preventative Measures include the Eight Laws of Health:
Porper -Nutrtition-eating whole foods in as natural a state as possible.
Exercise-Movement is life. We should exercise at least 3-4 days a week and at least 20 minutes.
Water-We should drink at least half our body weight in ounces daily.
Sunlight-Getting at least 10 minutes of sun daily has many benefits. Vitamin D, is supplied from sunlight
Temperance-The moderate use of that which is good and getting rid of those things harmful to the body.
Fresh Air-Pure air is vital to our health.
Rest-Getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night.
Trust in Divine Power-when you would have done all on your part, we must trust our Creator, God to help us with the rest.
What is The Outlook of the Disease?
As discussed in the article, monkeypox is a self-limiting disease that resolves within 2 to 4 weeks. Furthermore, most of the cases do not present with any complications. Hence, the disease is of good prognosis, with only 3-6% resulting in fatality (3).
- Jezek Z, Szczeniowski M, Paluku KM, Mutombo M, Grab B. Human monkeypox: confusion with chickenpox. Acta Tropica. 1988 Dec;45(4):297-307. PMID: 2907258.
- Mahase, E. (2022). Seven monkeypox cases are confirmed in England. BMJ, o1239. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o1239
- Monkeypox. (n.d.). Www.who.int. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/monkeypox#:~:text=Monkeypox%20is%20usually%20a%20self
- 4. Monkeypox isn’t looking like a COVID-19-sized threat. (n.d.). Moneycontrol. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/opinion/monkeypox-isnt-looking-like-a-covid-19-sized-threat-8565921.html
- 5. Pal, M., Mengstie, F., & Kandi, V. (2017). Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Control of Monkeypox Disease: A comprehensive review. American Journal of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, 5(2), 94-9.
- 6. Sheikh, K. (2022, May 23). How Serious Is Monkeypox? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/article/monkeypox-virus-covid.html
- Wardiana, M., Rahmadewi, R., Murtiastutik, D., Sawitri, S., & Damayanti, D. (2021). Chickenpox Mimicking Monkeypox in Adult with Diabetes Mellitus and Acute Kidney Injury: Diagnosis and Management. Berkala Ilmu Kesehatan Kulit Dan Kelamin, 33(3), 213. https://doi.org/10.20473/bikk.v33.3.2021.213-223