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Symptoms and Causes of Monkeypox

Monkeypox infection was found in England after Public Health England (PHE) stated that two of its citizens were diagnosed with this rare disease. Both patients are known to have just traveled to Nigeria, West Africa. In the region, monkeypox were becoming an epidemic. Knowing the symptoms and causes of monkeypox is necessary as a preventive measure.

Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease, where the virus can spread from animal to human. For most people, this disease may sound strange because it is rarely found.

Spread of monkeypox

The monkeypox virus is a cause of monkey smallpox. This virus belongs to the poxviridae group, along with the virus that causes smallpox. That is why since the successful elimination of variola (smallpox) thanks to immunization, monkeypox also decreased the incidence.

The monkeypox virus spreads through direct human contact with body, blood, or skin fluids from infected animals. Generally infected animals are monkeys, squirrels, and Gambian mice. In addition, the spread of this disease can also occur from human to human.




If someone is in direct contact with skin lesions, body fluids, or mucus from breathing, people with monkey infection, the person has the potential to become infected. This virus is also found in droplets (small particles) so that when the sufferer coughs, sneezes, people around him can be infected.

After the monkeypox virus enters a person's body, symptoms will occur between 4-20 days later (incubation period). The symptoms themselves consist of two phases, namely:

  • The invasion phase or pre-eruption occurs for 5 days. Fever is the first symptom that appears. Body temperature can reach 38.5-40.5 degrees Celsius. Fever is accompanied by chills, cold sweat, severe headaches, back pain, muscle aches, enlarged lymph nodes, especially in the neck and jaw area, and weak body.
  • The phase of skin eruption, occurs 1-3 days after a fever. In this phase a reddish rash appears that starts from the face then throughout the body. The rash then turns into spots filled with water (resilient), festering, and becomes a sores (krusta) which can be released.

In addition to the above symptoms, monkeypox sufferers can also experience complications ranging from bacterial infections to wounds, lung infections (pneumonia), respiratory problems, eye infections, blindness, to inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).

To determine the diagnosis of monkey pox is not only through clinical symptoms. The clerk will generally take fluid from the skin lesions of the sufferer and then carry out a series of examinations in the laboratory to find the monkeypox virus.

Prevention of monkeypox

The most significant risk factor for the transmission of monkey pox is the presence of physical contact between humans and infected animals. Therefore, the only way to prevent transmission is to avoid physical contact with infected animals.

Various ways to prevent monkeypox are:

  • Avoid direct contact with rats, primates, or animals suspected of being infected with the monkeypox virus.
  • Cook the meat until it's completely cooked.
  • Wash hands before and after processing any food. Likewise, after you visit a sick person.
  • Use gloves and protective clothing when handling injured or sick people or animals.
  • Get smallpox immunization on schedule.
  • You should also avoid traveling to areas or countries that have temporal monkeypox outbreaks. This is done so that you avoid infection with monkeypox and prevent the spread.

Monkeypox can heal itself

Although the spread is relatively fast, monkeypox can generally heal itself (self-limited) like other viral diseases. Healing generally takes 2-4 weeks. Severe complications to death occur in patients who do experience complicated conditions such as malnutrition. Treatment generally aims to reduce symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches.

So far there is no vaccine that specifically prevents monkeypox infection. However, the vaccine against smallpox has an effectiveness of 85 percent to prevent monkeypox.

The most effective prevention step is to reduce contact between animals and humans. Try not to keep animals that can be infected with monkey pox, like primates. Even if you make contact with animals, wash your hands using soap and running water. Don't forget to report to health workers if you find an animal that shows symptoms such as watery eyes and open wounds on the skin.

It is indeed the case of monkeypox that has recently occurred, far away in England. However, there's nothing wrong for you to remain vigilant. One of them is knowing the symptoms and causes of monkeypox. In addition, do the preventive measures mentioned above to avoid the spread of this disease.





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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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