A rare case of human monkeypox was detected in Texas in the US, for the first time in nearly 20 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday.
The patient is a US resident who had returned from Nigeria a couple of days ago and is currently hospitalised in isolation in Dallas.
The patient is a US resident who had returned from Nigeria a couple of days ago and is currently hospitalized in isolation in Dallas, Live Science reported.
The CDC is working with state and local health agencies and the airlines to contact passengers and others who may have been in contact with the patient during two flights: Lagos in Nigeria to Atlanta on July 8, with arrival on July 9; and Atlanta to Dallas on July 9.
it was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox.’ The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then it has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries.
The last time, there was a monkeypox outbreak – a zoonotic disease – in the US was in 2003, when 47 people were affected by the virus. It was traced to pet prairie dogs in the Midwest that harboured the virus.
As of now, government officials said the lone case of monkeypox is no cause for alarm and poses no threat to the general public.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease – that is transmitted to humans from animals -, most cases of which are found in Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the monkeypox virus is similar to human smallpox. Although monkeypox is much milder than smallpox, it can be fatal with a mortality rate of between one and 10 per cent, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.
It is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-4 weeks. Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but causes a milder infection.
The first case of monkeypox was identified in Nigeria in 2017 in 39 years. Since then there have been sporadic cases of it in Nigeria. It is zoonotic, belonging to the same family of smallpox although less severe than smallpox with lower infection.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
According to CDC, after 12 days of contracting the virus one can experience fever, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness.
The body starts developing rashes after 3 days of contact, with fever kicking in. The rashes spread throughout the body and can be extremely itchy, which goes through different stages while healing, forming a scab, and then falls off.
The lesions can lead to scarring. The symptoms and illness last up to 2 to 4 weeks and are reduced on their own.
As of now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there is no specific cure for the illness, however, it can be controlled with smallpox vaccine cidofovir, ST-246, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG).
There are number of measures that can be taken to prevent infection with monkeypox virus:
- Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus.
- Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick animal.
- Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
- Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.