Health: 5 Fast Facts You Should Know About Monkeypox

If you have been watching the news or reading
online lately, you’d have heard of a disease
outbreak in Bayelsa called “Monkeypox”.
You might be quite familiar with a similarly named
disease- chickenpox, and perhaps smallpox.

“Monkeypox, however, must sound quite strange to you.
Here are 5 facts about Monkeypox you should

    #1: It can affect humans.
    Even though it is named after monkeys, it can affecthumans. The reason behind its name is that it was discovered among monkeys in Denmark in 1958.

    In 1970, it was first reported among humans when a 9 year old boy in the Democratic Republic of Congo
    was found to have contracted the disease.

    #2: It is caused by a virus that can be deadly.
    Monkeypox is a disease caused by a viral infection.
    The monkeypox virus is in the same genus as
    smallpox and cowpox.
    The virus can cause an illness in humans that can
    be fatal.

    Monkeypox causes death in less than 10% of
    people that are infected with it. If you were
    wondering why I used “less” in my last statement,
    let’s compare this mortality rate with that of
    smallpox or ebola virus.

    Although smallpox has been eradicated from nature,
    its common form killed about 30% of people
    infected. Also, it caused facial scars on upto 80% ofpeople who had it.

    Ebola virus, is several times more deadly than
    monkeypox. The last outbreak in West Africa killed
    more than 50% of people who got infected.

    Monkeypox can lead to death in humans but has a
    far lower mortality rate than smallpox and ebola.
    #3. It starts with a fever.
    Now, don’t panic. Not all fevers in Bayelsa state are monkeypox, malaria is still the most common cause
    of fevers in Nigeria.
    However, 7-14 days after a person is infected with
    monkeypox, the person would start showing signs
    and symptoms.
    Some signs and symptoms of monkeypox are:

    Muscle pain
    Back pain
    Enlargement of lymph nodes
    Body weakness

    1-3 days after the fever starts, a rash develops.
    The rash is known to start from the face, and then
    spreads to other parts of the body.
    The illness usually lasts about 2-4 weeks.
    The symptoms are quite similar to smallpox. One
    difference though, is that monkeypox has significant
    enlargement of lymph nodes, while smallpox doesn’t
    have that as a characteristic feature.
    Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures
    that make up an important part of the immune

    #4. It can be gotten from rodents.
    Apart from monkeys, the monkeypox virus has
    been isolated in rodents like rats and squirrels.
    The primary method by which human outbreaks
    start, is when a person comes in close contact with
    an infected animal.
    In rural areas, infected rodents can be hunted and
    then eaten, hence, increasing the likelihood of a
    human outbreak, especially if the meat isn’t
    thoroughly cooked.
    It can also be spread from person-to-person. How?
    By close contact with an infected person.
    Close contact with respiratory secretions like
    sneeze and cough droplets, can lead to the spread
    of the monkeypox virus.
    Also, contact with an infected person’s blood, body fluids, rash and clothing can spread the virus.

    This is why it is important for infected people to be
    identified and quarantined. In the current outbreak
    in Bayelsa, a medical doctor and some others have
    been quarantined and kept in isolation wards to
    prevent the spread of the disease.
    #5. It can be prevented.
    This is the good news. Monkeypox can be
    At the moment, there is no specific treatment or
    vaccine available for this disease, however, you
    can protect yourself from getting infected by
    following these:
    Avoid close contact with infected persons or

    Ensure you cook meat thoroughly.
    Practice hand washing optimally
    Health workers should use gloves and personal
    protective equipment.

The current outbreak of Monkeypox in Bayelsa is
not something you should panic about. However,
you should ensure you follow the necessary
preventive measures and you should be fine. 

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