Just yesterday the Nigerian Hon.
Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole urged Nigerians to remain calm about the on-going reports on Monkey Pox outbreak in the state of Bayelsa. He said that suspected patients are currently been quarantined and medical facilities have been put on alert. In his own words ‘investigation is still on-going and our partners are working with us on this reported outbreak, while the NCDC team in Bayelsa state would give support’.
Well, I’m a microbiologist so I thought I’ll enlighten us briefly on this disease. First of all, we need to know what a virus is. A virus is a microscopically minute, metabolically inert, obligate intracellular parasite (this means it cannot live outside of its host, in this case living organisms). Monkeypox disease is caused by Monkeypox virus. This virus belongs to the orthopoxvirus group, which includes the popular smallpox and cowpox you know. It is also a zoonotic diseases; this simply means it can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Its symptoms are similar to that of small pox but milder; they include fever, muscle ache, head ache, back ache, swollen lymph nodes and fatigue. Rashes appear that eventually turn out to be fluid-filled bumps. The bumps eventually dry up and fall off the skin.
Beware friends. You can get monkey pox when bitten by an infected animal, or when you touch its blood, rash or other body fluids. I think if you breathe close to an infected human for a long period time, you can be infected too. You can also get it when you touch body fluids, cloths, beddings, or other objects of an infected person.
I cannot think of any known treatment of monkeypox virus, but don’t be scared, death occurs in very few cases often due to inadequate nutrition and medical attention. It is important also to know that if you receive a smallpox vaccine, you will decrease your chances of contacting monkeypox. Ciao.
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