- Recently, the Union Government set up a task force to monitor Monkeypox situation in country. It was created after reporting first death related to monkeypox. The Task force will provide guidance to government with respect to expansion of diagnostic facilities and exploration of vaccination for the disease in India.
- It is a viral zoonotic disease (transmission from animals to humans) and is identified as a pox-like disease among monkeys hence it is named Monkeypox. It is endemic to Nigeria.
- It is caused by monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
- The natural host of the virus remains undefined. But the disease has been reported in many animals.
- Animals known to be sources of Monkeypox virus include monkeys and apes, a variety of rodents (including rats, mice, squirrels and prairie dogs) and rabbits.
- It was first reported in 1958, in monkeys in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in humans in 1970, also in the DRC.
- In 2017, Nigeria experienced the largest documented outbreak, 40 years after the last confirmed case.
- Subsequently, the disease has been reported in many West and Central African countries.
- Primary infection is through direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of an infected animal. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is also a risk factor.
- Human-to-human transmission can result from close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions, skin lesions of an infected person or objects recently contaminated by patient fluids or lesion materials.
- Transmission can also occur by inoculation or via the placenta (congenital monkeypox).
Treatment and Vaccine:
- There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for Monkeypox infection. In the past, the anti-smallpox vaccine was shown to be 85% effective in preventing Monkeypox.
- But the world was declared free of smallpox in 1980 so the vaccine isn’t widely available anymore.
- Currently, there is no global system in place to manage the spread of Monkeypox, with each country struggling to contain any outbreak whenever it occurs.
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