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Symptoms, healing times, spread and everything you need to know about monkeypox

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Symptoms, healing times, spread and everything you need to know about monkeypox
Written by aquitodovale

from Margherita De Bac

The disease caused by a virus widespread in Africa (especially in Ghana and Nigeria). Swollen lymph nodes and blisters on the skin that appear as small spots are among the signs of infection

1. What is monkeypox?

an infectious disease caused by a virus mainly spread in Africa in monkeys and some rodents, especially in Ghana and Nigeria. It has this name to distinguish it in ancient times from chickenpox characterized by more extensive skin spots. According to the CDC, the American Center for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases, the reservoir of this still unknown pathogen but it always depends on the man-animal promiscuit which never ceases to generate surprises. And indeed the highest international surveillance. The infection it has nothing to do with human smallpoxmuch more serious, eradicated in the world in 1980, it shares only the family.

2. Can it be transmitted to man?

Yes, it can rarely pass from animal to human and subsequently be transmitted from one individual to another by air (through breath droplets), via small lesions of the skin and mucous membranes (e.g. of the eyes, mouth). Sexual transmission has never been described, however it is plausible that the infection can occur during intimate relationships, but other data are needed to draw conclusions. An individual without symptoms is not currently considered contagious but as a precaution the close contacts of people diagnosed with the disease are monitored.

3. What are the symptoms in humans?

The most common are fever, headache, body aches and fatigue. The lymph nodes in the neck swell and after a few days they appear blisters on the skin that initially appear as small spots. The disease heals spontaneously, without specific therapies, lasts from two to four weeks and generally does not leave any aftermath. The incubation takes about two weeks from the contagion. The forms observed so far have been mostly mild.

4. a widespread disease in Europe?

No, but it was sporadically diagnosed even in recent years, in Europe and the USA, in travelers from endemic areas, that is, where the virus is normally spread. The phenomenon it has never been an alarm and even now we must not dramatize. The UK government website makes it clear that the disease does not spread easily in the population and the risk is defined as low.

5. Why did the European Infectious Disease Control Agency send out a monkeypox alert?

Some cases have been reported in Portugal (5 confirmed and 20 suspected), Spain (8 suspects) United Kingdom (at least 4) and yesterday in Italy. The WHO has detected recent episodes in England among those who have casual sex, in particular infections have been found in gay dating places, but has also reported a small epidemic outbreak in an English family. The peculiarity compared to the past is the high number of confirmed patients and the lack of connection with recent trips to endemic areas.

6. What is Italy doing?

The specialist centers have been alerted, the Higher Institute of Health has activated a group of experts to follow the evolution of the situation.

7. Does anyone who received human smallpox vaccination, which was mandatory until 1981, also acquire protection against monkeypox?

There is a similarity between human and monkey viruses. There is evidence that the nursery does indeed offer some degree of protection.

8. Is there a specific vaccine?

There is no vaccine against monkeypox. It has been seen that human smallpox can be used successfully as a prophylaxis in people who have come into contact with sick individuals. The effectiveness of 85 percent.

9. Are there forms of prevention?

The precautions are very similar to those useful for avoiding infectious diseases in general. We learned them during Covid. The first rule is personal hygieneespecially the repeated hand washing. The advice, also considering the extreme rarity of cases in Italy, to contact your doctor if you have any doubts or if you notice symptoms that may lead you to suspect that you have contracted an infection on the skinown or of the people who live next to us, starting with the partner.

10. Why have reports of uncommon infections been more frequent in recent months?

The pandemic has certainly raised the level of attention on the possible emergence of new viruses or re-emerging viruses.

May 20, 2022 (change May 20, 2022 | 07:21)

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