Monkeypox outbreak: Some common myths and facts about the viral infection

With monkeypox instances being recorded in over 20 international locations throughout the globe, individuals are involved about its unfold and transmission as they proceed to defend themselves in opposition to the ongoing Covid-19 scare. So far, the monkeypox infections have crossed the 200-case-mark worldwide, elevating alarms.

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“Monkeypox virus (MPXV) has got its name from the monkey in which the infection was initially detected. Although no reservoir is determined, MPXV is also found in rodents,” Dr Niranjan Patil (MD, Microbiology), Associate Vice President (AVP), Scientific Business head- Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Molecular biology- Head and Biosafety officer, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, Mumbai stated. Just like Covid-19, a number of myths about the infection are floating on social media, resulting in panic and worry.

As such, Dr Patil busted just a few such myths about monkeypox and shared vital facts about the viral infection.

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Myth: Monkeypox is as contagious as COVID-19 or smallpox

Fact: Monkey field is way much less contagious as in comparison with smallpox, measles, or COVID-19.

Monkey field is way much less contagious as in comparison with smallpox, measles or COVID-19 (Source: Reuters)

Myth: Monkeypox is a brand new virus.

Fact: No, the monkeypox virus isn’t a novel virus. It’s a identified virus and is mostly seen in central and western African international locations as localised outbreaks.

Myth: There is not any remedy accessible.

Fact: Monkeypox virus infection is a self-limited infection normally. Lesions heal on their very own typically by 21 days. Treatment for monkeypox is generally supportive and consists of fever and ache administration by paracetamol or different NSAIDs, diet assist, skincare, eye care and respiratory assist. Specific antiviral equivalent to Tecorivimat has been authorized for the monkeypox virus in 2022. Tecorivimat has been beforehand used to deal with smallpox instances. Other antivirals which can be thought-about are Cidofovir or Brincidofivir.

Myth: Smallpox vaccination or infection doesn’t shield in opposition to the monkeypox virus

Fact: Past publicity to smallpox earlier than the Nineteen Eighties, both by infection or vaccination, is protecting. The safety could fluctuate from 80 to 85 per cent and is mostly life-long.

It could be simply distinguished from smallpox and chickenpox based mostly on the scientific signs and laboratory checks. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Myth: Monkeypox virus infection will unfold quickly like COVID-19

Fact: No, it gained’t unfold quickly as COVID19 as it’s far much less contagious, and information about the virus already exists so there isn’t any must panic. Human to human transmission is way much less in comparison with COVID-19 and requires shut contact with the contaminated particular person or their physique fluids/their secretions. Vaccinia virus vaccine accessible for smallpox could also be used to forestall MPXV infection, particularly amongst high-risk contacts and well being care staff on a case-to-case foundation.

Myth: Monkeypox virus infection can’t be distinguished from smallpox or chickenpox.

Fact: It could be simply distinguished from smallpox and chickenpox based mostly on the scientific signs and laboratory checks. Smallpox was eradicated in 1980 whereas the attribute rash of chickenpox is centripetal, which means predominantly on the trunks and spares the palms and the soles. In the case of the monkeypox virus, it’s predominantly on the head and face and entails the palms and soles. Real-time PCR and sequencing checks are used to diagnose MPXV from chickenpox and different poxviruses equivalent to cowpox and smallpox.

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