Monkeypox – what is it?

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is an infectious disease which is caused by the monkeypox virus, within the same family as smallpox, but believed to be much milder.

Where did monkeypox originate?

The new virus that is beginning to spread around the world is believed to being spread from areas where it is most common, such as North and Central Africa.

Monkeypox was first found in humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970.
The World Health Organisation recorded 338 confirmed cases and 33 deaths within the years of 1981-1986.

What are monkeypox symptoms?

Symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. Along with the rash and blisters which are a delayed onset symptom, all symptoms are known to typically clear up within two to four weeks. The virus can look very similar to chickenpox when in the mild degree.

Is there a cure?

While like many other viruses, monkeypox does not have an entirely effective cure. However, the smallpox vaccine has been found to prevent infection with a 85% effectiveness.

How is monkeypox spread?

Like most viruses, along with COVID-19, monkeypox is spread when close contact with an infected person and the virus enters the body through broken skin, respiratory systems, or ears, nose, or mouth. While it is not technically classed as a STI, it can also be transmitted with sexual contact. Monkeypox can also be spread by close contact with infected animals such as monkeys, or rodents, or surfaces and material such as clothing or tables.

How can you reduce the spread of monkeypox?

Luckily, the world has had a lot of practice with the safety measures that were put in place with the spread of COVID-19 in the last 3 years, and the measures to reduce the spread of monkeypox is the same as those good practices.

Practice good hygiene such as hand washing, coughing into a tissue, and regularly sanitising hands and skin. Social distancing is also a precaution that can be used to reduce the spread, along with the reintroduction of wearing masks while in a public space.


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