Recently, multiple cases of monkeypox have been reported in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain and the United States. The finding is worrying because smallpox outbreaks mainly occurred in western and central Africa, with occasional outbreaks elsewhere. Here’s what scientists know so far.
Monkeypox is caused by a virus that causes sick people to have a rash, rough fever. There are 2 main strains:
+ The Congo strain is more severe with a mortality rate of up to 10%.
+ The West African strain has a mortality rate of 1%.
“The illness usually begins with fever and headache, and the patient will feel lethargic and tired. They can have swollen glands and then a rash will develop that looks like a pustule and that’s usually something that can infect other people.” – That is the sharing of Professor Jimmy Whitworth, Head of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine London. Monkeypox usually lasts for 2-4 weeks and symptoms appear when the person has been infected with the virus for 5-21 days.
The first case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: CDC.
In 1958, this smallpox virus was first discovered in monkeys and it was named for the disease. But now rodents are considered the main source of disease. The virus is spread by close contact, which can spread either from animals to humans or between people, although this is rare. But the spread of the disease in recent times has caused scientists to reconsider. That’s because some cases in the UK are unrelated.
Can monkeypox become a pandemic like SARS-CoV-2?
According to experts, this is very unlikely to happen. Because most of us are now fully vaccinated against smallpox and this vaccine is 80% effective against monkeypox virus. Monkeypox is also not a newly discovered or rare disease, it has been around for a long time, sporadically in parts of Africa but has also stabilized and been extinguished. Therefore, people should not be too worried and update the latest information from the government.