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Monkeypox: Should You Be Worried? Here's What Experts Say

Monkeypox has got us all worried and confused. Here's everything you need to know about monkeypox.

Monkeypox: Should You Be Worried? Heres What Experts Say

Monkeypox can cause rashes and spots on over the skin

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a zoonotic virus that belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family. Its symptoms are similar to that of smallpox but less severe. The virus occurs in West Africa near tropical rainforests. Animals like squirrels, and rodents, are the primary sources of the virus. Animal to human transmission takes place through bodily fluids and contact with lesions of infected animals. The risk also increases by eating undercooked meat or animal products of infected rodents. Originated in Central and Western Africa, cases have surfaced recently in Spain, Canada,  and the UK, among other nations. What are the symptoms?  

  • The time between infection and symptoms can last anywhere from 5 to 21 days.
  • 0-5 days: Symptoms can be high fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, or fatigue.
  • 6-10 days: Rashes are the next symptom on the face or body. They are red and itchy in the beginning and can become pustular with time, forming various lesions on the skin.
  • It is a disease with a varying incubation period from 1 to 3 weeks.

How scared should we be?

According to Dr. Sharma, there are no signs of worrying just yet. There have been less than 100 cases globally, with no cases found in India as of today. “People should be vigilant and should perform precautionary measures. There is no need to worry as of now.” He explained. According to experts, the virus is being spread via direct skin contact with people who have active rashes or lesions present on the skin. What are the preventative measures?

COVID has, fortunately, by now, taught us the right way to protect ourselves in public. Keeping distance is the best precautionary measure available.

  • Repetitive hand washing is a great way to start.
  • Wear your mask, carry hand sanitisers, and refrain from unnecessary physical contact.
  • Avoid people who might have flu-like symptoms such as fever or headaches.
  • If someone in your contact has recently returned from a foreign trip, maintain an isolation period for at least a week. Separate their articles and utensils from daily use.

What are health authorities doing?

The government should make the necessary preparations in case of an outbreak. Laboratories should be set up for testing, special isolation wards should be available if need be. The central government announced testing at all international airports, seaports, or borders. Travelers from Africa will have to undergo testing that will be sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune. What are the clinical care methods after contraction of the Virus?

Medicinal drugs for symptoms are available and can be prescribed by medical professionals. Patients should be provided with a diet rich in fluids and nutrients for a speedy recovery. As the virus is similar to smallpox, previous immunisation against smallpox will help against symptoms of Monkeypox. Conclusion

According to medical health professionals, there is nothing to worry about in India. That being said, the proper protocol must be followed and precautionary measures should be in place specifically for travellers from affected countries. If symptoms like fever, headache, or rashes are present, contact health professionals in your area and isolate yourself.

(Inputs from Dr Sharma)  

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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