Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU) is a conventional academic institution whose vision seeks to keep aflame the pursuit of Knowledge, Excellence and the spirit of enquiry. AKSU also offers opportunities for Learning and Leadership, Service and Self-actualization to all mankind, towards a Peaceful, Humane, Prosperous and just Society.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Monkey Pox ...all you need to know (Must Read)

Monkey pox is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests. The monkey pox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans and, although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder.

The monkey pox virus is transmitted to people from various wild animals but has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission. Typically, case fatality in monkey pox outbreaks has been between 1% and 10%, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.

There is no treatment or vaccine available although prior smallpox vaccination was highly effective in preventing monkey pox as well. Monkey pox is a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although less severe. Smallpox was eradicated in 1980.However, monkey pox still occurs sporadically in some parts of Africa.

The virus was first identified in the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1958 during an investigation into a pox-like disease among monkeys.

Outbreaks
Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then known as Zaire) in a 9 year old boy in a region where smallpox had been eliminated in 1968. Since then, the majority of cases have been reported in rural, rainforest regions of the Congo Basin and western Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is considered to be endemic. In 1996-97, a major outbreak occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

In the spring of 2003, monkeypox cases were confirmed in the Midwest of the United States of America, marking the first reported occurrence of the disease outside of the African continent. Most of the patients had had close contact with pet prairie dogs.

In 2005, a monkeypox outbreak occurred in Unity, Sudan and sporadic cases have been reported from other parts of Africa. In 2009, an outreach campaign among refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo into the Republic of Congo identified and confirmed two cases of monkeypox. Between August and October 2016, a monkeypox outbreak in the Central African Republic was contained with 26 cases and two deaths.

Transmission
Infection of index cases results from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals. In Africa human infections have been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, Gambian giant rats and squirrels, with rodents being the major reservoir of the virus. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is a possible risk factor.

Signs and symptoms
The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) of monkey pox is usually from 6 to 16 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.

Treatment and vaccine
There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for monkey pox infection, but outbreaks can be controlled. Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkey pox in the past but the vaccine is no longer available to the general public after it was discontinued following global smallpox eradication. Nevertheless, prior smallpox vaccination will likely result in a milder disease course.

Natural host of monkeypox virus
In Africa, monkey pox infection has been found in many animal species: rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian rats, striped mice, dormice and primates. Doubts persist on the natural history of the virus and further studies are needed to identify the exact reservoir of the monkey pox virus and how it is maintained in nature. 

Prevention
Preventing monkey pox expansion through restrictions on animal trade. Restricting or banning the movement of small African mammals and monkeys may be effective in slowing the expansion of the virus outside Africa.

Captive animals should not be inoculated against smallpox. Instead, potentially infected animals should be isolated from other animals and placed into immediate quarantine. Any animals that might have come into contact with an infected animal should be quarantined, handled with standard precautions and observed for monkeypox symptoms for 30 days.

WHO response? 
WHO supports Member States with surveillance, preparedness and outbreak response activities in affected countries.

Culled from World Health Organisation (WHO)

No comments :

Post a Comment