What is monkeypox? Here’s what you need to know – eat that’s not it

The world has just begun to return to normal life after being hit by a global pandemic, and now we are hearing news of another disease known as monkeypox. You may be wondering, “What is monkeypox, what are its symptoms, and should I be concerned?” You’re also likely to be curious about whether or not you’re at risk of contracting the disease. The World Health Organization reported that it is not currently concerned about monkeypox becoming a pandemic, although “the situation is evolving and changing very rapidly”.

Eat this, not that! I spoke with Valerie E. Cadet, Ph.D. With PCOM Georgia, here’s everything you need to know about monkeypox from symptoms to isolation to treatment. Read on to learn more, and next, check out the 6 best exercises for strong, toned arms in 2022, says the trainer.

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Closely related to smallpox (a human virus that has been eradicated), Cadet tells us that monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by a virus of the exact same name. Monkeypox is not as severe as smallpox, and is usually found in parts of central and western Africa. The disease has already been observed for decades, even before the first case in humans occurred in 1970.

“The virus can be found naturally as a reservoir in small rodents such as rats and squirrels, as well as monkeys in areas where the virus is endemic,” Cadet explains.

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A man suffering from muscle and back pain
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Symptoms usually begin within seven to 14 days after infection. However, some individuals can experience symptoms that begin as soon as five days after their exposure, or it may take up to 21 days for symptoms to appear.

If you think you’ve been infected, the characteristic symptoms of monkeypox include headache, muscle and back aches, and fever. Cadet adds: “It is possible that the affected person will also have swollen lymph nodes, chills, and extreme fatigue as well. The most characteristic symptoms are [of] This disease is a rash that begins within a few days of fever.”

Until recently, it was known that a rash usually begins on a person’s face, and then spreads to other areas of the body. This may include the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. Different types of blisters appear on the area of ​​the rash, which will be blisters and fluid-filled vesicles. These blisters will turn crusty, and usually fall off within three to four weeks.

Not to worry, according to Cadet, because monkeypox is usually not severe, although it can last for about a month. Historically, in some outbreaks, up to 10% of infected individuals could die. Notably, in the 2003 outbreak in the United States, there were no deaths at all.

The good news for this terrible infectious disease? Cadet tells us, “In general, despite the severity of the disease, the prognosis is good and the disease usually resolves on its own.”

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Woman sleeping on sofa in self-isolation mask
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“Anyone who develops a rash and fever without a particular cause should self-isolate immediately and contact their local or state health department,” Cadet says. “If someone develops some other symptoms without a fever or rash, they should contact their doctor for evaluation and further guidance.”

Currently, the United States does not quarantine individuals with monkeypox. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended isolation precautions for infected individuals who have not been hospitalized – they can be seen on the CDC’s website.

Cadet asserts, “Specific decisions regarding the duration and timing of downtime are made in consultation with local health officials on an individual basis.” In general, infection prevention and isolation measures in your home may include having the isolated person wear a surgical mask, practice good hand hygiene, use disposable gloves, and wash all bedding and laundry separately using warm water with detergent. Also, soiled utensils and dishes should be washed in hot water and dish detergent or in a dishwasher. Anyone in the home should also consider wearing disposable gloves and a surgical mask when in contact with a person with monkeypox.

The way to treat monkeypox at home is really supportive care. Cadet advises, “Treatment of fever with acetaminophen or NSAIDs, for example. Although there are no FDA-approved treatments for monkeypox specifically, antivirals and other medications approved for treating smallpox and vaccine complications (virus associated smallpox) or some complications in AIDS patients may prove useful in treating monkeypox.” She adds: “There is an FDA-approved vaccine for smallpox and monkeypox that can be given after exposure within four days to prevent disease progression and if given between five and 14 days after exposure, it can reduce the severity of symptoms, leading to more mild illness. “.

Washing clothes contaminated with monkeypox
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If you think you have been exposed to and/or have symptoms that suggest you may have monkeypox, it is essential that you contact your local or state health department officials and your doctor immediately.

According to Cadet, “It is expected that there will be more cases, so we should all know the symptoms to look for, however, monkeypox virus does not spread as easily as other viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. In this case, it requires Prolonged close contact for respiratory spread, and in the case of the current outbreaks we are seeing over the past month, appears to be spread mostly through contact with body fluids, pus from blisters and clothing or other items that have become contaminated with these fluids.”

Cadet cautions that in short, all individuals should take precautions when contacting anyone with a “flu-like illness” with the rash described above and swollen lymph nodes. “The scab itself is still highly contagious,” Cadet says. “Take it home: The virus enters through cracks in the skin (even tiny cracks), the respiratory tract, and mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, and mouth.”

Individuals born in the United States before 1972 or elsewhere in the world until about 1980 are likely to have received the smallpox vaccine. The good news is that vaccination may protect you from monkeypox, too. Bad news? The vast majority of Americans under the age of 50 may not have been vaccinated or were not immune to the disease. For this reason, everyone should exercise caution by limiting their exposure and the possibility of transmitting the disease.

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