Health

Monkey signs and symptoms: what to look for and how it spreads

monkey flowerA rare tropical disease spread by wild animals in West Africa has suddenly spread overseas in the past two months, raising questions about what it is and how dangerous it can be.

now they are There are 1,076 confirmed cases in the UKwith infections reported outside of Africa World Health Organization (WHO), including USA, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, UAE, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden.

A relatively mild viral infection, the disease has an incubation period of 6 to 16 days, and patients primarily experience fever, headache, swelling, back pain, muscle pain, and general malaise during its initial stage.

Once this passes and the fever subsides, the sufferer experiences a skin eruption in which the rash spreads to the face, followed by the rest of the body, most commonly the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

The spots develop from lesions to crusty blisters that can take up to three weeks to heal and disappear.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “The main difference between chickenpox and monkeypox symptoms is that chickenpox causes swelling of the lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) while chickenpox does not.”

The virus can be difficult to diagnose without laboratory testing because of its superficial similarities to other diseases that cause rashes, such as chickenpox, measles, scabies, and syphilis.

The WHO has traced the disease to the tropical rainforests of Central and West Africa and classifies it as a viral zoonotic disease – meaning it can be transmitted from animals to humans – with the first case reported in what is now the country. Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970.

Although it is initially transmitted to humans through contact with the blood or body fluids of contaminated primates, or via rodent intermediates such as tree squirrels and Gambian rats, it is much more likely to be caught from other humans.

There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment, but pre-existing chickenpox has been shown to be 85 percent effective in fighting the disease.

The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) is currently investigating possible links between the infected patients, noting that those diagnosed together on Wednesday 16 May were all gay or bisexual men and warned that It may indicate that the virus is sexually transmitted among that community.

Mateo Prochazka, UKHSA infectious disease epidemiologist leading the agency’s investigation, said the shared circumstances were “highly suggestive of sexual network transmission”.

The monkey flower was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970

(Reuters)

Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA’s chief medical adviser, said: “We are particularly urging men who are gay and bisexual to be aware of any unusual rash or lesions and to contact the Sexual Health Service straight away.”

Spanish newspaper El Pais Meanwhile, Elena Andradas, head of public health for the Madrid region, was quoted as saying earlier this month that “22 of the 23 suspected cases had sex with other men in recent weeks”.

However, some scientists question the theory that monkeypox may have evolved the ability to be sexually transmitted.

“It may not actually be transmitted sexually, rather than through close contact with intercourse,” said Professor Keith Neal, an epidemiologist at the University of Nottingham.

“Further work may be needed to see if the virus is detected in semen to say it is truly sexually transmitted.”

Professor Francois Balloux, director of UCL’s Institute of Genetics, said: “I would urge caution at this stage before concluding that monkeypox was transformed by a sexually transmitted infection.

“Monkeypox is not particularly contagious and to date the number of cases where the route of transmission is known is relatively small.”

An electron microscopic image shows mature, oval-shaped monkey virus particles

(Reuters)

Very few of those newly infected in the UK have traveled to a country where monkeypox is endemic. NigeriaAccording to the UKHSA.

A man who became ill in Massachusetts recently spent time in the same country, as did two people diagnosed in Texas and Maryland last year, and travelers who brought the first cases to the UK in 2018.

However, the worst US outbreak ever recorded, which resulted in 47 cases in six states in 2003, was caused by a shipment of infected animals that arrived Ghana.

As for how concerned the public should be, Dr Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, admitted that “there are currently gaps in our knowledge”.

But he added that “it would be very unusual to see anything more than a few cases in any outbreak” and stressed that “we will not see Covid-style levels of transmission”.

WHO puts the death rate from the disease at only one in ten.

Monkey signs and symptoms: what to look for and how it spreads

Source link Monkey signs and symptoms: what to look for and how it spreads

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