New Delhi: A rare case of monkeypox was detected in the US state of Texas, marking the first such cases recorded in the state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed on July 15 a case of human monkeypox in a US resident who recently traveled from Nigeria to the United States,” the CDC said in a press release.
The infected individual, who travelled from Lagos, Nigeria, to Dallas with a layover stop in Atlanta, is currently hospitalised in the city of Dallas. The CDC release revealed that the health officials are in touch with the airline passengers and others who may have had contact with the infected individual.
The last monkeypox outbreak in the US was in 2003 and over 47 people were affected by the virus. It was traced to pet prairie dogs in the Midwest that harboured the virus.
CDC describes monkeypox as a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body.
What is monkeypox?
According to CDC, monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox.’ The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries.
The natural reservoir of monkeypox remains unknown. However, African rodent species are suspected to play a role in transmission. The CDC believes the spread of monkeypox through respiratory droplets to others on airplanes and in airports is low
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. CDC reveals that the main difference between symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell while smallpox does not. The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.
What is the treatment for monkeypox?
As per CDC, currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. For purposes of controlling a monkeypox outbreak in the United States, smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used. The medical body also listed out prevention measures that one can take in order to avoid the viral illness. These measures include practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans, avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus, isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection and use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.