First confirmed case of monkeypox reported in India; here are the signs, symptoms and treatment

Just three days ago, the WHO held an emergency meeting to decide whether monkeypox is a global health threat. Last month, the UN agency refused to declare it a global emergency. With a confirmed case in India now, people are understandably freaking out. Earlier in June, a girl in Ghaziabad was suspected of having contracted the viral infection but came back negative when tested. Let’s understand what the virus is, its signs and symptoms, and its treatment.

What is monkey pox?Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease and is mainly transmitted to people by wild animals such as rodents and primates, however, human-to-human transmission is also possible. Cases of monkeypox, both suspected and confirmed, continue to rise in several countries. It is a rare disease and is similar to other poxviruses like the virus that leads to smallpox. This is the first time that this virus has been discovered outside of Africa.

How does it spread?

Monkeypox is spread by direct exposure to the infected animal resulting from a scratch, bite, or contact with its wound or bodily secretion, either directly or indirectly. However, the new cases reported worldwide are the result of human-to-human transmission. It is also said that sexual intercourse can also lead to an outbreak.

Monkey pox signs and symptoms

When a person gets monkeypox, they don’t immediately show symptoms. The incubation period for the virus is said to be between seven and 21 days.

Common symptoms seen are:



Muscle pain

Back ache



Swollen lymph nodes

Once these symptoms set in, the disease can progress to the development of rashes on the face which can also spread to the whole body. They first appear as discolored areas, which then turn into solid raised spots, fluid-filled blisters, pus-filled blisters like sores, dry patches before falling off.

The overall duration of the disease varies from two to four weeks.

Is monkeypox treatable?

Although there is no confirmed treatment for monkeypox, some doctors may also administer antiviral drugs to control the disease. Some tested antiviral treatments seem to work with few side effects. In addition, the smallpox vaccine is said to be 85% effective in treating the disease. The United States distributes the Jynneos vaccine, which is a vaccine against smallpox and monkeypox (live, non-replicating). The vaccine is given in two doses and delivered 28 days apart.

Much like the precautions we followed during a COVID infection, experts suggest that social distancing, masking, improved ventilation, and staying home when sick are some of the recommended methods to follow.

Whenever such viruses arise, we are reminded that humans and animals are linked in complex ways, in which 2/3 of emerging infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic (transmitted from animals to humans).

  1. What can you do to protect yourself?
    Avoid contact with people suspected or confirmed of monkeypox; Avoid physical contact with anyone suspected or confirmed of monkeypox; Avoid crowded events; Follow good hygiene; Wear a mask
  2. Can masking help prevent monkeypox?
    Although the disease is transmitted by intimate contact, masking can still offer some protection.
  3. Where do the lesions first appear?
    According to some experts, the lesions associated with monkeypox can be seen in the airways before being spotted on other parts of the body.

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