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Monkeypox virus: What are the symptoms, how is it transmitted, is there a cure for the disease?

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Getty Images Hands and legs of a 4-year-old girl with monkeypox in Liberia

This year, after Europe, monkeypox virus was found for the first time in the USA. The virus was detected in the USA in a man who had recently traveled to Canada.

It was announced on Wednesday that 23 people in Spain had symptoms of monkeypox.

It has been announced that 15 suspicious cases are being investigated in Portugal.

Two new cases of monkeypox were detected in England. Thus, the total number of incidents in the country rose to 9.

WHAT IS MONKEY FLOWER, HOW COMMON?

Monkeypox is a rare virus. It causes a disease similar to smallpox.

However, the disease is milder in people with monkeypox, and experts say that the possibility of transmission is lower in this case.

The virus is mostly seen in West African countries near tropical rainforests. There are two main strains of the virus, West African and Central African.

Two people infected with the disease in England had traveled to Nigeria. It is therefore possible that they may have contracted the milder West African virus, but their status is now unconfirmed.

The third incident reported was a healthcare worker who was infected with the virus from patients.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The first symptoms of the virus are fever, headache, swelling, back pain, muscle pain and weakness.

After the fever subsides, a rash may develop that usually starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body, mostly the palms and soles.

The rash, which can be very itchy, changes to form a crust and subsides after passing through different stages. Wounds can leave scars.

HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED?

The virus can be spread through close contact with another person who has monkeypox. The virus can enter the body through skin abrasions, respiratory tract, eyes, nose or mouth. It can also be transmitted through direct contact during sexual interest.

The virus can also spread through contact with infected animals such as monkeys, rats and squirrels, or objects such as bedding and clothing.

HOW DANGEROUS?

Most of the events are mild in those who are infected with the virus. The virus sometimes resembles chickenpox and disappears on its own within a few weeks.

However, sometimes it can be more severe. It was previously reported to cause deaths in West Africa.

HOW COMMON ARE THE OUTREAMS?

The virus was first encountered in a monkey. There have been outbreaks in 10 African countries since 1970.

The first events of Africa were recorded with the outside outbreak in the USA in 2003. The disease had been passed on to humans from prairie dogs. Dogs were transported with small mammals imported into the country. A total of 81 incidents were reported, but none of these incidents resulted in death.

In 2017, Nigeria experienced its largest outbreak, nearly 40 years after the country’s last officially recorded monkeypox epidemic. 172 suspected cases of monkeypox were recorded, and 75 percent of patients were men aged 21 to mid-40s.

IS THERE A TREATMENT?

There is no cure for monkeypox, but epidemics can be controlled by preventing the spread of the virus.

Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85 percent effective in preventing monkeypox. The vaccine is still sometimes available.

IS THERE A POSSIBILITY OF AN EPIDEMIC?

According to Public Health experts in the UK, the risk of a national epidemic is quite low.

Professor Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology at the University of Nottingham, said: “The fact that only one in 50 people who have come into contact with a person infected with monkeypox is infected shows how weak the contagiousness of the virus is.”

“It would be wrong to think that we are on the brink of a country-wide epidemic”

Physician Nick Phin, Deputy Director of the UK’s Public Health National Infection Service (PHE), states that monkeypox does not spread quickly among humans, so the risk of an epidemic is very low.

PHE tracks those who have close contact with patients.

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