Monkeypox aka monkeypox is a viral infectious disease caused by a rare virus from animals (zoonotic virus). Monkeys are the main host of the monkeypox virus. Therefore, this disease is called monkey smallpox. Cases that were transmitted from monkeys to humans were first discovered in 1970 in Congo, South Africa.
Symptoms of this disease are generally similar to those of smallpox, such as fever and skin rash that blisters become elastic. However, symptoms are also accompanied by swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpit.
Transmission of monkeypox among humans occurs through direct contact with elastic or sores on the skin, body fluids, droplets released when sneezing and coughing, and touching surfaces contaminated with the monkeypox virus.
The dangers of this disease can be effectively prevented through vaccines. Antiviral for the treatment of monkeypox is still being studied further.
How common is this disease?
Monkeypox began as an endemic disease in Central and West Africa. It was first discovered in 1958 when a smallpox outbreak attacked a group of monkeys that were deliberately kept in a laboratory belonging to a health institution for research. The first human case occurred in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Since then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that there have been quite a number of cases of monkeypox infection in humans outside Africa, with details:
47 cases in the United States in 2003
3 cases in the UK in 2003
1 case in Israel in 2018
1 case in Singapore (1 case) in 2019
4 cases in the UK in 2022
Young adults, adolescents, and young children and infants are more susceptible to monkeypox infection. Of the approximately 10% of reported deaths, the majority are children.
Monkeypox signs and symptoms
People infected with the monkeypox virus will start showing their first symptoms 6-16 days after exposure. The period when the virus is not yet actively multiplying in the body is known as the incubation period. The incubation period for the monkeypox virus can range from 6-13 days. However, it can also occur in a longer range, which is 5-21 days.
However, as long as there are no symptoms, a person can still transmit the monkeypox virus to others.
The initial symptoms of this disease are the same as chickenpox caused by a viral infection, which causes flu-like symptoms.
Causes of monkey pox
Monkeypox virus is a virus of animal origin (zoonotic virus). It is known that this virus was originally transmitted by the bite of wild animals such as squirrels. However, the researchers also found that this virus infected a group of monkeys under study. From here, this disease is called monkey smallpox.
The monkeypox virus belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus in the family Poxviridae. Viruses belonging to the Orthopoxvirus genus include the variola virus that causes smallpox (smallpox), vaccinia virus (which is used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.
Most cases of monkeypox experienced by humans are caused by transmission from animals. Viruses of animal origin can enter the human body through open wounds in the skin, respiratory tract, mucous membranes, and mucous membranes (saliva).
How to transmit monkeypox
This disease is known to be transmitted through direct contact with skin lesions, blood, body fluids, or mucous (saliva) containing the virus. However, how do animals get to transmit it to humans?
In Africa, animal-to-human transmission is known to occur through daily contact with infected Gambian monkeys, squirrels and mice.
According to the CDC, transmission of chickenpox from animals to humans can also occur through animal bites, direct contact with fluids or animal skin lesions or indirect contact with surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Cases of transmission of monkeypox from one person to another are generally very minimal. Transmission of the monkeypox virus between humans often takes place from droplets from the respiratory tract of an infected person.
Not only through exposure to droplets released when sneezing or coughing by an infected person, transmission of the virus from droplets can also take place during regular face-to-face contact with infected people.
This virus can also move from the body of pregnant women to the fetus through the placenta.
Anyone who has never been infected with the virus that causes monkeypox is likely to experience this disease. However, you are more at risk of contracting the disease when:
Make direct contact without wearing protective gear with wild stars.
Having close contact with monkeys infected with this disease virus.
Consuming meat and other body parts of wild animals, especially without first being cooked thoroughly.
Caring for people who have monkeypox.
Conducting research on the monkeypox virus in the laboratory.
Treatment for monkeypox
So far, no specific treatment for monkeypox has been found in Indonesia, considering that cases of this disease have not been found in Indonesia.
Although there is no specific treatment, this disease can be managed by trying to control the symptoms that arise through supportive care and treatment through antivirals.
Supportive care cannot stop the ongoing viral infection, but aims to increase the body’s immune strength to fight infection.
While experiencing symptoms, it is recommended that you increase your rest time and meet your fluid and nutritional needs by following a strict healthy diet.
You should also self-quarantine by staying at home and limiting social contact with people in the surrounding environment.
Until now there is no specific drug that can overcome the viral infection that causes monkeypox. However, the type of antiviral used to treat smallpox (smallpox), namely cidofovir or tecovirimat can help in the recovery process.
In cases of severe symptoms, the patient is recommended to be hospitalized in a hospital for intensive treatment.
To control the health impact of this disease, prevention through smallpox vaccine and immunoglobulin vaccine is the main solution for handling monkeypox.
Although the main route of transmission of monkeypox is direct skin-to-skin contact, various recent studies suggest that this outbreak is mostly transmitted through sexual contact, especially in homosexual and bisexual groups. Therefore, this group is considered to have a higher risk, although that does not mean only this group is at risk.
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