No sooner had the passions around covid subsided, than a new attack came — smallpox of monkeys. In our article we tell you whether it is worth being afraid of her and how to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Today, doctors know much more about monkey pox than about the coronavirus, which took the medical community by surprise. Is monkey pox dangerous, will it be able to spread around the world in the near future and are we in danger of a pandemic and global quarantine? We answer these and other questions together with the doctor of the Semeynaya clinic, Alexander Lavrishchev.
What is monkey pox?
Smallpox of monkeys is a viral disease, and quite rare. It has been known to virologists and epidemiologists since the 1950s, but previously it was really infrequent. The virus affects animals, and the manifestations of the disease are very similar to smallpox. Moreover, genetically, the monkey pox virus is very similar to the smallpox virus. Both of these viruses have existed on our planet for thousands of years. They mutate and adapt to us. And we study them .
How is the virus transmitted?
Yes, it has already been proven that people can get infected from animals. The first human cases of monkey pox were reported in the Congo. After that, epidemiologists worked in Africa, studied this virus, observed the symptoms, and developed treatment options.
It cannot be said that the virus is highly contagious, that is, it is spreading rapidly, because in the ten years since the first cases, only 59 infected people have been recorded. All the cases were in Africa and came into contact with wild animals — rodents (mainly squirrels) and monkeys.
The greatest probability of getting sick occurs when an animal is bitten or during contact with an animal’s biological fluid (saliva, blood, urine). A bite causes a more severe course of the disease than a simple contact.
What is the peculiarity of human-to-human infection?
There are cases of human-to-human transmission of the virus in the world today. This occurs by airborne droplets, with close contact of the skin, for example, during sexual contact.
But it is impossible to say that it is easy to “pick up” smallpox of monkeys. If you just talk to an infected or sick person, infection will not happen. To get sick, you need to be near the source of the virus in a cramped room without ventilation for three hours. Such possibilities of transmission of the virus, as well as the possibility of getting infected during sex, are now being studied by doctors.
What are the symptoms of the disease?
It is noted that there are different scenarios for the course of monkey pox — from mild and asymptomatic to severe. The pronounced symptoms of the disease include a rash that appears on the hands and feet. Moreover, the bubbles are very large — up to a centimeter in diameter. The disease is also manifested by fever, muscle aches, and sometimes an increase in lymph nodes.
How not to get infected?
Get vaccinated against smallpox. Moreover, it can be done at the first signs of monkey pox, in the first four days of the disease. Vaccination reduces the probability of a severe course of the disease and a fatal outcome to almost zero. Although smallpox monkeys have a small percentage of mortality, only 10%.
Also, do not forget about simple, well-known, but no less effective ways of prevention: avoid contact with coughing people, ventilate the premises, use a medical mask, wash your hands, do not touch your face with your hands, be less in crowded places.
About the expert:
Alexander Alexandrovich Lavrishchev
The therapist, the leading specialist of the network of clinics “Semeynaya”.
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