The UK has confirmed first case of Monkeypox, the virus that passed from infected animals such as rodents to humans. The virus has been found in a person who recently travelled to Nigeria.
The patient is currently being treated in an isolation unit at St Thomas hospital in London.
What is Monkeypox disease?
It is a rare disease caused by infection with Monkeypox virus, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States. The Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae,it further said.
According to World health Organization (WHO), the zoonotic disease occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions.
Symptoms of the disease
Fever, rash, intense headache, back pain, muscle aches (myalgia), intense asthenia (lack of energy) and swollen lymph nodes are the common symptoms associated with Monkeypox.
Skin eruptions are also reported in patients of Monkeypox, which begins within 1-3 days of appearance of fever, according to WHO. The rashes tend to be more concentrated on the face. Apart from face, it affects palms of the hands and soles of the feet, oral mucous membranes, genitalia and conjunctivae as well as the cornea, the global health agency further said.
The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days, according to the WHO.
How the disease gets transmitted to humans?
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. According to the CDC, the disease was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, giving the disease its name.
The first case of human transmission was reported more than 50 years ago, in 1970, in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The WHO says that transmission can result from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals.
The natural reservoir of Monkeypox has not yet been identified, though rodents are the most likely, it further said, adding that eating inadequately cooked meat and other animal products of infected animals is a possible risk factor.
How can Monkeypox be treated?
There is currently no specific treatment recommended for Monkeypox, as per the WHO. Vaccination against smallpox is found to be about 85 per cent effective in preventing the disease. It, therefore, recommends prior childhood smallpox vaccination to prevent serious symptoms of Monkeypox.
The natural host of the Monkeypox virus
Apart from rodents, rope squirrels, tree squirrels, dormice, primates and other species too have been found to be carrying the virus.