Is Monkeypox the next horror?

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By : Dr. Samayug Bhowmik, Bureau Chief-ICN West Bengal 

KOLKATA : After battling with covid for last two years, a new disease is knocking at the door “Monkeypox”.

The name monkeypox originates from the discovery of a pox like virus in monkeys at a laboratory at Denmark in 1958.

The first human infection was identified in a child at Congo, Africa in 1970.

In older days the disease was sporadic i.e occurring at irregular intervals at only in few places as scattered or isolated case. Later became endemic i.e regularly found among in a particular group of people or in a certain area. Now it gradually turning to be epidemic i.e widespread
occurrence in a community as already community transmission starts. Thus if we neglect ourselves at this stage, it will create the next Pandemic in this earth.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease i.e this is a disease transmitted from animal to human beings. It started among animals, mainly in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa, from there to local people then human to human thus now exported to other continents.

Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with ulcers ,different body fluids, respiratory droplets from cough and sneeze and contaminated materials such as bedding, towels toys etc.

The incubation period of Monkeypox i.e.the period between exposure of infection and the appearance of the first symptoms is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days but as a thumb rule,it is easier and safest to count 21 days.

Signs & symptoms of Monkeypox
1. Fever
2. Body aches
3. Chills
4. Extreme Fatigue
5. Pain and Enlargement of . different lymph glands.
6. Rashes on the face, hands and palm region later that may spread all over the body. Looks like Small-Pox.

Monkeypox is usually self-limiting disorder now prevailing between 3-6% of cases but may be severe in some individuals may extend to 7 10% of cases especially in children, pregnant women or immunocompromised persons due to some other already existing health ailments.

Moreover in a study it was found that the disease severity and fatality in Congo is more severe than other parts of West Africa. Thus it varies in severity also in different strains.

Recently the disease goes out of Africa and already peoples of UK, USA, France, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Canada, Australia and Israel are gradually getting affected.

A doctor can confirm its presence in a individual clinically but if required Laboratory RT-PCR test is available now in different laboratories.

But treatment is unknown to us complete cure of complications by treatment is still uncertain. Now what to do at our best.

Because it is also a viral illness and its way to spread nearly similar to Covid-19, thus we should have to follow strictly the same general guidelines as of Covid. i.e

1. Eat healthy food,
2. Maintain social distancing,
3. Wash hands frequently and
4. Wear face mask.(Although most of us already withdrawn it)
5. If anybody found with history of contact or coming from Monkeypox affected countries then he/she should be isolated for 21 days.

Let’s all be careful.

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