Three years since WHO announced the COVID-19 pandemic, the warning bells are ringing yet again. This time, it’s not from China, but a new viral disease that has its roots in Central and West Africa.
Although known for decades, Monkeypox has been spreading rapidly and quietly in regions never reported before. This prompted WHO on 23rd July 2022 to declare it a “public health emergency of international concern”.
But what exactly is Monkeypox? How worried should we be? And, is it likely to trigger another Corona-like pandemic?
While new information about Monkeypox is still emerging, we’ve collected information from the World Health Organization and Central for Disease Control (CDC) to answer some common questions you might have about the disease.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral disease that causes lesions on the skin that often looks like pus-filled pimples or blisters. It is a mild illness caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus, a close relative to the now eradicated and more severe smallpox virus.
Is the disease deadly?
A silver lining in the outbreak is that the disease is not as severe as smallpox. It is also not as contagious as COVID-19. Outbreaks, therefore, tend to be small because the virus does not spread at a fast rate.
Unlike smallpox, monkeypox is also rarely fatal. The disease has a fatality rate of 3-6% based on recent cases.
What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?
According to the CDC, there are a few ways you can prevent the spread of the monkeypox virus. They include.
a. Practicing good hand hygiene, washing hands frequently with soap and water as well as using hand sanitizers
b. Using personal protective equipment when caring for infected patients
c. Avoiding contact with items that might have been contacting with the patient or animal with the monkeypox virus
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