What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a different type of viral infection similar to human smallpox. It was first detected in 1958 in monkeys kept for research. The first case of infection with monkeypox was recorded in 1970. The disease mainly occurs in the rainforest regions of Central and West Africa. Sometimes it extends to other areas as well. Currently outside Africa, there have been cases of monkeypox in America, Europe, Singapore, UK. These cases have been linked to international travel and transfer of disease-carrying monkeys from one place to another.
How does the infection spread?
Monkeypox is spread to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal or through material contaminated with the virus. It is believed to be transmitted by animals such as rats, mice, and squirrels. The disease spreads through wounds, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated objects. This virus is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness. Health officials say some of these infections can be spread through sexual contact. The WHO has said that it is also investigating a number of cases related to homosexual people.
What are the symptoms of this disease?
According to the WHO, monkeypox usually manifests through fever, rash and lumps. This can lead to a variety of medical complications. Symptoms usually appear for two to four weeks. They go away on their own. Cases can also be serious. In recent times, the mortality ratio has been around 3-6 per cent. But, it can be up to 10 per cent. No case of death has been reported in the fresh spread of the infection.