Monkeypox (MPX) is a rare viral infection related to smallpox and cowpox. Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 among African monkey colonies. The first confirmed human case was found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. Origin of monkeypox is still unknown, although African rodents are suspected of playing a part in transmission.
Monkeypox disease has a prolonged incubation period. That means that after being exposed to the virus, illness can develop in 4 to 21 days.
- The symptoms begin with a general, all-over sense of being sick.
- Flu-like symptoms include fever and muscle aches.
- Swelling of the lymph nodes.
- A few days later, a blister-like rash that resembles chicken pox appears. This can start on the face and spread to other parts of the body, or it can be sexually transmitted and start in the genital or anal areas.
- The rash dries up a week or two later, and recovery continues.
Altogether, monkeypox lasts two to four weeks.
When to see a doctor?
If you notice flu-like symptoms for a long time such as fever, fatigue and muscle aches along with rash and swelling of lymph nodes, you need to consult a doctor.
Visit the doctor if the rashes are worsening and flu-like symptoms are not under control.
Causes and Risks
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease caused by monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the Poxviridae family.
When an individual comes into contact with the virus from an animal, a human, or contaminated materials, the virus is transmitted. The virus enters the body via broken skin (even if this is not visible) or the respiratory tract (eyes, nose, or mouth). Man-to-man transmission is thought to occur primarily via large respiratory droplets that necessitate prolonged face-to-face contact.
Risk factors -
Monkeypox is a relatively rare viral infection. The risk factors include:
- Animal bites and scratches from infected animals (primarily African rodents or monkeys) or other rodents that have had contact with infected African animals are the risk factors.
- People should not consume any meat of such animals.
- Direct physical contact with the infected person.
- Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are currently at a higher risk of infection because the infection is spreading in these social circles and networks. However, anyone can get monkeypox. It can spread through any type of direct or close physical contact, including heterosexual sex.
Because monkeypox is uncommon, doctors may first suspect measles or chickenpox. Swollen lymph nodes, on the other hand, usually distinguish monkeypox from other poxes.
A tissue sample from an open sore or lesion is taken by the doctor to diagnose monkeypox (lesion). The sample is then transferred to a laboratory for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, ELISA and western blotting. A blood sample may be required to test for the monkeypox virus or antibodies produced by your immune system.
Symptoms of monkeypox can resolve on their own. A monkeypox outbreak, however, can be controlled with the smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG).
Isolation of patient:
- solation of the patient in a hospital isolation room or at home in a separate room with separate ventilation.
- Patients should put on a three-layer mask.
- To minimise the risk of contact with others, skin lesions should be covered to the greatest extent possible such as wearing long sleeves and long pants.
- Isolation should be maintained until all lesions have healed and scabs have fallen off completely.
Protection of compromised skin and mucous membranes:
Skin rash is managed by-
- Cleaning with simple antiseptic solution
- Application of Mupirocin Acid or Fucidin
- Cover with dressing if extensive lesion is present
- Do not scratch the lesions
- In case of secondary infection, relevant antibiotics may be considered.
- Genital ulcers are managed by sitz bath
- Oral ulcers are managed by warm saline gargles or oral topical anti-inflammatory gel
- Conjunctivitis is usually self limiting but consult eye specialist if symptoms persist or there are vision problems or pain
Rehydration therapy and Nutritional support:
This therapy is important because dehydration can be accompanied by a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
- Fever: Tepid sponging and paracetamol as required
- Itching or Pruritus: Topical Calamine lotion and antihistamines
- Nausea: Consider anti-emetics
- Headache or malaise: paracetamol and adequate hydration
Dos and Don’ts
Monkeypox is a viral infection that can infect humans and some animals. It's caused by a monkeypox virus with symptoms like fever, muscle aches, headache, swollen lymph nodes, etc. Although many cases of monkeypox resolve on their own, those who become more ill can be treated with antiviral agents.
|Wash hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.||Share bedding or towels with people who have monkeypox.|
|Discuss with partners about their sexual health and any symptoms they may be experiencing.||Have close contact with people who may have monkeypox.|
|If you have monkey pox symptoms, avoid sex and intimate contact.||Approach stray animals including those that appear sick.|
|Do not share utensils and cups with a monkeypox infected person.||Touch your face, nose and eyes with unwashed or unclean hands|
|Avoid travelling to high risk countries.||No need to clean or disinfect frequently touched surfaces|
Follow the Do’s and Don'ts for monkeypox viral infection to prevent the disease and its complications. The best ways to keep from getting infected with monkeypox are avoiding close contact with infected people, washing hands frequently and thoroughly, wearing a mask and gloves when taking care of monkeypox infected patients.
Guidelines for Management of Monkeypox Disease
The government-issued guidelines for monkeypox disease as cases of this viral disease in India are growing every day. Here are some of the guidelines:
- International passengers should avoid close contact with sick people, also stay away from dead or live wild animals.
- The international travelers are advised not to eat or prepare meat from wild game (bushmeat).
- Avoid contact with contaminated materials used by sick people like bedding, clothing or other things used in healthcare centres. Also stay away from those materials that have come into contact with diseased animals.
- Get medical help immediately if you experience monkeypox-like symptoms such as a skin rash, fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes or if residing in an area where monkeypox disease cases have been reported, or if you have come into close contact with an infected person.
Monkeypox Care at Medicover Hospitals
We have the eminent medical experts at Medicover Hospitals who are experienced in providing the best healthcare services to our patients. Our department is fully equipped with cutting-edge technology and equipment to perform the tests required for monkeypox diagnosis. We have an excellent team of doctors who diagnose and treat this condition with care that brings successful treatment outcomes.