How to prevent monkeypox and things you must know

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The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Gulf Today Report

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced the first case of monkeypox in the country.

The ministry explained that the first case was detected in a 29-year-old woman who arrived from West Africa, noting that she is receiving the necessary medical care.

However, the authorities urged residents not to panic over.

Monkeypox is a virus transmitted to humans by animals, with symptoms very similar to smallpox but clinically less severe.

In Africa, monkeypox has been found in many animals including rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice as well as different species of monkeys and others.

Monkeypox-Illust

The World Health Organization, however, says human-to-human transmission is limited.

How to prevent:

There are number of measures that can be taken to prevent infection with monkeypox virus:

•    Avoid contact with animals that could harbour the virus, including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs.
•    Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick animal.

•    Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.

•    Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

•    Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

Is there a treatment?

There is no specific treatment, but smallpox vaccination has been shown to be about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox.


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However, access to smallpox vaccines is now limited as the disease has been eradicated globally.


“The good news is that the smallpox vaccine works well against monkeypox.


The bad news is that most people under 45 don’t have the smallpox vaccine,” said epidemiologist and health economist Eric FeiglDing.  



JYNNEOS  (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) is an attenuated live virus vaccine which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox.


The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is currently evaluating JYNNEOS for the protection of people at risk of occupational exposure to  orthopoxviruses such as smallpox and monkeypox in a pre-event setting.



How is it transmitted?   


Transmission from animals to humans can occur through direct contact with blood, body fluids or lesions of the skin or mucous membranes of infected animals.


Secondary or human-to-human transmission can occur through close contact with respiratory secretions, skin lesions of an infected person, or recently contaminated objects.

Transmission by respiratory droplet particles typically requires prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts healthcare workers, family members, and other close contacts of infected people at increased risk.


On Monday, the WHO reported that some of Britain’s recently confirmed cases have appeared in gay men.


But experts have warned it was too premature to establish a link.


“Although the current cluster of cases involve men who have sex with men, it is probably too early to tell conclusions about the mode of transmission or assuming that sexual activity was necessary for transmission, unless we have clear epidemiological data and analysis,” Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, told the Science Media Center (SMC) website.  



How bad is it?


This is usually a self-limiting disease with symptoms lasting two to four weeks.


Severe cases occur most often in children and are related to the extent of exposure to the virus, the patient’s medical condition and the nature of the complications.


The mortality rate per case varied but remained between 0 and 10% in all recorded infections.
“The West African strain, present in the UK cases, is estimated to have a case fatality rate of around 1%.


There is also a strain found in the Congo region which can be fatal in as many as 10 percent of cases, but the UK cases do not have this strain,” Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, told SMC.

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