What is Monkeypox?
How serious is it?
Who catches monkeypox?
How does it spread?
Who is the higher risk population?
Is there a treatment for monkeypox?
Do we have a vaccine against monkeypox?
What is the difference between monkeypox and smallpox?
Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by a DNA virus belonging to the poxvirus family.
Another known poxvirus is smallpox which was eradicated in 1977.
Monkeypox is a systemic viral illness characterized by skin rash, and it is a less severe disease than smallpox.
This disease was originally isolated in monkeys. This is how it got its name; however, the primary reservoir of this virus is rodents.
The first outbreak of human monkeypox infection in the Western Hemisphere occurred in 2003, when more than 70 cases were reported in the midwestern United States.
Nine patients were hospitalized, and there were no deaths.
Most monkeypox cases are found among people who identify themselves as homosexual. Anyone can catch the monkeypox virus after close and prolonged contact with an infected person or animal.
Until creating this video, the Human-to-human propagation of monkeypox infections is rare.
Human infections with the monkeypox virus typically occur in endemic areas when humans contact infected animals. However, recent cases have been detected in non-endemic countries.
It can take 5 to 21 days after contact with an infection to start having signs and symptoms of monkeypox disease.
Most cases show signs within 7-14 days after initial exposure to the virus.
Can include secondary infections (for example, cellulitis), and, less frequently, pneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis, and keratitis leading to vision loss.
Children, pregnant women, and some immunosuppressed individuals are at higher risk for severe disease.
The severity of the illness can rely upon the initial health of the individual, the route of exposure, and the strain of the virus
West African monkeypox is associated with milder disease, fewer deaths, and limited human-to-human transmission.
Human infections with the Central African monkeypox virus clade are typically more severe than those with the West African virus clade and have higher mortality.
Human-to-human transmission occurs via:
- Direct contact with cutaneous or mucosal lesions;
- Indirect contact via contaminated material such as linens or clothing;
- Respiratory droplets from prolonged face-to-face contact.
PCR test (nucleic acid)
(detecting presence of monkeypox virus DNA in patient samples)
if skin lesions are present, collection of lesion samples (roofs, crusts, aspirate, exudate, tissue)
For individuals who do not have skin lesions and are suspected to be in the first stage of illness (prodrome), oropharyngeal swabs, nasopharyngeal swabs
Most individuals with monkeypox have mild symptoms and do not require any specific interventions.
Treatment for monkeypox remains supportive and targeted on symptoms (e.g., fever control, hydration support, treat secondary infections).
There are no specific antiviral treatments that have proven to be effective in human cases of monkeypox.
The antiviral tecovirimat may be considered an ‘off-label’ treatment for monkeypox
Suspected cases should be instructed to limit their contact until results are obtained and practice frequent hand and respiratory hygiene.
Lesions should be covered whenever possible, and contaminated objects should be manipulated by the case only.
There is no dedicated monkeypox vaccine, but Smallpox vaccination can provide cross-reactive immunity to monkeypox infection.