Monkey pox is a viral infection characterized by purulent nodules on the skin. Monkeypox or monkeypox first appeared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970.
At first, monkeypox had symptoms similar to chickenpox, namely watery nodules. As the disease progresses, watery nodules turn festering and cause lumps in the neck, armpits or groin due to swollen lymph nodes.
Monkeypox is a disease that can be passed from person to person, but the main source is rodents and primates, such as infected rats, monkeys or squirrels.
Causes of Monkey Pox
Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus , which is a virus that belongs to the Orthopoxvirus group . This virus was originally transmitted from animals to humans through scratches or bites of animals, such as squirrels, monkeys or rats, which are infected with the monkeypox virus .
Monkeypox virus transmission can also occur through direct contact with body fluids of infected animals.
Monkeypox spreads between humans through droplets of saliva that enter through the eyes, mouth, nose, or breaks in the skin. Transmission can also occur through contaminated objects, such as patient clothing. However, human-to-human transmission requires prolonged contact.
Monkey Pox Symptoms
Monkeypox symptoms will appear 5–21 days after the sufferer is infected with the monkeypox virus . Early symptoms of monkey pox are:
- Tired or limp
- Muscle ache
- Swollen lymph nodes , which are characterized by lumps in the neck, armpits, or groin
Early symptoms of monkeypox can last 1–3 days or more. After that, the rash will appear on the face and spread to other parts of the body, such as arms or legs.
The rash that appears will develop from a fluid-filled nodule to pus-filled, then cracks and crusts, then causes ulcers on the surface of the skin.
When to see a doctor
Immediately consult a doctor if you feel symptoms such as chicken pox, namely the appearance of watery nodules, especially if:
- The contents of the nodule turn into pus
- There is contact with monkeys or squirrels
- Just traveled to a country where there are lots of cases of monkeypox
Monkey Pox Diagnosis
In the early stages of the examination, the doctor will check the symptoms and types of rashes that appear. The doctor will also ask about travel history from countries that have monkeypox cases.
The appearance of a rash alone does not necessarily indicate monkeypox. Therefore, the doctor will carry out further tests to see the presence of the virus in the body, namely through:
- Blood test
- Throat swab test
- Skin biopsy, by taking a sample of skin tissue to be examined under a microscope
Monkey Pox Treatment
Until now, there is no treatment for monkeypox. This disease generally only causes mild symptoms and can heal by itself in 2-4 weeks. While the spread of monkeypox can be prevented with smallpox vaccine ( smallpox ).
Meanwhile, several countries use tecovirimat to treat monkeypox. Tecovirimat works by inhibiting the monkeypox virus from multiplying and spreading to other people. However, the use of this drug is still limited to adult patients weighing ≥40 kg and children weighing ≥13 kg.
Please note, monkeypox sufferers need to get treatment in an isolation room to get monitoring from a doctor and prevent the spread of the disease.
Monkey Pox Complications
Monkeypox has a high cure rate. Although rare, this disease can still cause complications.
The risk of developing severe monkeypox complications is higher in children, people with weak immune systems, people who have not received vaccinations, and people who live in endemic countries or areas with poor sanitation.
Complications that can occur due to monkey pox are:
- Bacterial infection
- Lung infection
- Brain inflammation (encephalitis)
- Corneal infection ( keratitis )
Monkey Pox Prevention
The main prevention of monkeypox is to avoid direct contact with primates and rodents, such as monkeys and squirrels, or people who are infected. Some other preventive steps that can be taken are:
- Wash your hands frequently with water and soap or hand sanitizer , especially before cooking or processing food, before eating, before touching your nose or eyes, and before cleaning wounds
- Avoid sharing the use of cutlery with other people, also do not use the same items with people infected with monkeypox
- Avoid contact with wild animals or consuming their meat
- Cooking food, especially meat, until cooked
In order to prevent transmission of monkeypox, doctors will give the smallpox vaccine , especially to medical workers who treat monkeypox patients. Apart from the smallpox vaccine , medical workers also need to wear personal protective equipment when treating patients.
If you have a pet that is suspected of being infected with the monkeypox virus, contact a veterinarian immediately and do not let the animal roam. It is important to remember, use gloves and a mask before contact with these pets.
Some of the symptoms of monkey pox to watch out for in animals are:
- Red eye
- Runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Rash or red spots on the skin
- Hair loss