By – Andrew Mejire Etoh
Hey lovely readers, I cant begin to describe my previous week or the wacky weekend I had; (I dont know though, it seems crazy is the new black these days) and now, my mind seems to be doing the one corner dance more often. So in retrospect, the IPOB drama took a new turn after a military outreach in the Eastern region, was rumoured to have heralded the virus (monkey pox) into some parts of the country. I watched the developments and reactions that followed; from mid week I watched parents across some states rush to pick up their children from school, school children and parents panic based on a rumour the military were forcefully immunizing school children which was a grand conspiracy by the government to depopulated some parts of the country. Im sure the public feels differently this week. So Ill be laying a few need to know facts about monkey pox.
Monkey pox is a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans closely similar to small pox, although less severe.
The first outbreak of Monkey pox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a 9 year old boy in 1968. Since then, the majority of cases have been reported in rural, rainforest regions of the Congo Basin and western Africa.
Basically transmission of animal to human monkey pox is through contact with infected animals, infected animal blood, feces, secretions and contaminated fluid materials while the risk human to human transmission heightens through contact with infected persons or body fluids, including blood. In such cases contamination can be contained when infected persons or animals are quarantined.
Monkey pox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, and exhaustion. The main difference between symptoms of smallpox and monkey pox is that monkey pox causes lymph nodes to swell while smallpox does not. The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkey pox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5−21 days. Within the first three days or more, after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.
The differential diagnoses that must be considered include other rash illnesses, such as, smallpox, chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, syphilis, and medication-associated allergies. Lymphadenopathy during the prodromal stage of illness can be a clinical feature to distinguish it from smallpox. Monkey pox can only be diagnosed definitively in the laboratory where the virus can be identified by a number of different tests: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), antigen detection tests, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, virus isolation by cell culture. So far, vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkey pox, however the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following:
A smallpox vaccination should be administered within two weeks of exposure to monkey pox.
Cidofovir ( Vistide ), an antiviral drug, is suggested for patients with severe, life-threatening symptoms.
Vaccinia immune globulin may be used, but efficacy of use has not been documented.
For severe symptoms, supportive measures such as mechanical ventilation may rarely be needed. Consultation with an infectious-diseases expert and the CDC is recommended. The state government in affected states in Nigeria have released emergency lines to contact in the event of an outbreak of Monkey pox, so stay safe and informed, have a blessed week.
Credits : CDC (The Center for Disease control) , WHO, Infectious Disease Health Center (IDH)