Just when we are all so grateful for how things have improved around us related to Covid-19, it is, without doubt, scary when we hear about the multi-country monkeypox outbreak in non-endemic countries.
In May 2022, the World Health Organization announced that the situation related to the spread of monkeypox is currently evolving, meaning that the WHO anticipates more cases of this disease to be identified as the surveillance expands in non-endemic countries.
If you happen to be in Bali, where we are based, the good news is that the Indonesian Ministry of Health has confirmed that, so far, there have been no cases of monkeypox in Indonesia. Yes, that includes Bali.
But on the other hand, this rare condition has been found in the United States and Europe.
Though the number of confirmed cases is relatively low and no deaths were reported, experts worldwide have started to look into the spread of this infection. The goal is to find out what the outbreak of this disease means for the public.
In this article, we will answer the most common questions you might have about monkeypox, as follows.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare zoonotic disease caused by a virus that originated in animals in West Africa and Central Africa. It means that the virus can be transmitted from animals to humans, and the other way around. However, it can also spread from one human to another.
Though you might have never heard of this disease until quite recently, this disease was identified for the first time in 1958 among monkeys used for research.
Following the above outbreak that occurred in monkeys, the world heard of the first case of monkeypox in a human in 1970. This first case was found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
You may be interested to read more on 3 Facts About Monkeypox Virus You Need to Know
How does monkeypox spread?
Though it originates from animals, monkeypox is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and materials contaminated by the virus.
Experts have shared that this disease does not spread through airborne routes, unlike Covid-19. Therefore, a high number of cases of transmissions are not expected to be seen with monkeypox.
Furthermore, the CDC Trusted Source has explained that the human-to-human transmission of monkeypox generally happens through prolonged face-to-face contact. And the respiratory droplets are unable to travel for more than a few feet.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
When a person is infected with monkeypox, in most cases, the symptoms do not appear for 7 to 14 days. The early symptoms of this disease resemble those of an upper respiratory or flu, including a prominent fever, headache, fatigue, chills, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes as the body fights the infection, followed by a rash.
The rash usually follows one to three days later and normally primarily affects the face. Other body parts affected by the rash usually include the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, mouth, eyes, and sometimes even genitals.
Medical experts have explained that the rash caused by monkeypox happens in five stages, starting from flat discolored lesions, slightly raised lesions, bumps filled with clear fluid, bumps filled with yellowish fluids, ending in scabs, which later fall off.
An expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Infectious Diseases explained that the disease often lasts for 2-4 weeks and that a person infected with monkeypox should avoid close contact with others to limit and prevent the spread of the infection.
How is this disease treated?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there is currently no proven or safe treatment available for monkeypox. Most people who suffered from this disease have recovered and survived the disease without treatment.
While the Food and Drug Administration has a stock of approved vaccines for monkeypox transmission, it has not been used for the general population in almost 50 years. Experts have stated that there is currently no plan to use vaccines for monkeypox in the United States.
If you have any symptoms of monkeypox, make sure to seek medical assistance for evaluation and treatment of the symptoms. Our English-speaking team of excellent doctors at Prime Plus Medical Canggu is ready to assist you 24/7.