The year 2020 was the year that we lost to fear of death, fear of starvation, fear of loneliness and the list goes on, the globe was dealing with anxiety and confusion towards the word “COVID”. Back then it was a disease with no vaccine, we dealt the whole situation with a mask and prayer. But now in 2022, when we look at it, the highly advanced health and pharma sector has brought back the life before the pandemic. Vaccines, masks sanitizers social distancing were all the trending slangs of 2019, 20 and 21. Now when the case “COVID” seems to be settled, another fear story creeps in, let us take a glance at  the most searched topics of recent times - The Monkey Pox.

           Just as the name suggest it is a disease caused by a virus that is seen in animals, humans contract this disease by coming in contact with infected animals or by eating partially or uncooked flesh of an infected animal. Human to human transmission happens when the healthy individual comes in close contact with an infected individual.

           This virus is similar to virus that of the smallpox virus family (orthopovirus  genus) which is why the smallpox vaccine can be of help in the management (almost 85% effective) of this outbreak. This virus is relatively less contagious and less deadly than SARS-CoV-2, the corona virus. Health experts claim that there are no chances that this recent outbreak will cause any situation like that of in the COVID pandemic. So let’s take a sigh of  relief.

Now, is monkeypox a new disease like COVID-19?  No. It is not. It was first identified in the year 1958 in Democratic Republic of Congo. Monkeys are not the only animals that carry this virus, then why “monkeypox”? That’s because it was first identified in monkeys used for research.

Monkeypox presents when a person shows symptoms like fever, muscle ache, chills and most importantly lymphadenopathy, that is the swelling of lymph nodes. The progression of the disease in later stages also exhibits development of rashes, lesions and papules all over the body ranging from face to other parts of the body at first the symptoms may remind us of chickenpox or measles.

It can be tested or diagnosed by PCR swab taken from the lesions and papules, similar to the swab taken for the testing of coronavirus. Gay and bisexual men  are at an increased risk of getting the disease.

So as a takeaway, monkeypox might not cause us another series of fear, but that do not  give us the liberty of ignorance.



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