Home / Science / Health /  Have fever, fatigue, fluid-filled skin lesions? Could be Monkeypox. All you need to know

India has joined the wagon of countries with Monkeypox scare after four cases were reported int he country. One another case with Monkeypox like symptoms await their result, while Uttar Pradesh also reported a suspected case on Tuesday. As different states join the national count, several other states have started exercising caution. India has not reported any Monkeypox deaths. 

At such a time, when the world has reported almost over 16000 total cases of Monkeypox pandemic from over 75 countires, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the viral infection spread as a Global Public Health emergency-the highest alarm the UN Health agency can sound. 

Most of the recent global cases have been in men who have sex with men and have recently had sex with a new partner, according to the WHO.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week found that 98 percent of infected people were gay or bisexual men, and 95 percent of cases were transmitted through sexual activity.

Here is an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and vaccines for the zoonosis virus.

Monkeypox symptoms you should look out for

The first symptoms can include a fever, headaches, sharp muscle pains, fatigue, a rash, as well as swollen and painful lymph nodes.

Around one to three days after the appearance of a fever, a rash can turn into painful, fluid-filled skin lesions.

After a few days or weeks, the lesions or sores turn into scabs, before falling off.

Monkeypox has long been endemic in Central and Western Africa. In countries elsewhere that have recorded cases since May, the lesions have been more common around the genitals and anus, as well as on the mouth.

On Monday, the UK Health Security Agency expanded its list of symptoms to include just one or two genital or anal lesions, as well as rectal pain or bleeding.

Symptoms have varied between patients, however. They usually last between two to four weeks, and the virus is contagious until the rash has fully healed.

How to understand if its Monkeypox?

Diagnosing the virus can be difficult due to its inconsistent symptoms, which can resemble sexually transmitted infections, several health authorities have warned.

Europe has been the epicentre of the outbreak, with many cases among younger men living in cities, according to the WHO.

Confirming a case of monkeypox may require a PCR test, or a sample or biopsy of a skin lesion.

Those with potential cases must isolate while waiting for test results. Once the virus is confirmed, isolation is recommended for three weeks.

Monkeypox has been detected in semen, but is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, instead spreading through close physical contact. The European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC) recommends using a condom for 12 weeks after recovery.

Monkeypox cure

The disease usually heals by itself after two to three weeks, sometimes taking a month.

In many cases, the only treatment needed is to address the symptoms, such as clearing up a fever or soothing the itching.

Sometimes the lesions can become extremely painful, however, requiring serious painkillers or even hospital treatment.

The most severe cases have been seen in children, pregnant women and people with comprised immune systems.

No deaths have been reported so far in Europe or the United States.

People with monkeypox are advised not to scratch the lesions, as this could spread the virus or leave a scar, and to cover them to avoid the temptation.

The European Medicines Agency has approved a smallpox medication, Tecovirimat, for monkeypox treatment.

Monkeypox vaccines

A smallpox vaccine from Danish drug maker Bavarian Nordic, marketed under the name Jynneos in the United States and Imvanex in Europe, has also been found to protect against monkeypox.

The European Commission approved its use for monkeypox on Monday.

It can also have a "significant protective effect" if administered within four days of exposure to a monkeypox case, according to the ECDC.

Countries such as Britain, Canada, France and the United States have started offering vaccination to those most at risk of the virus.

The vaccine is given in two doses, at least 28 days apart. But for people vaccinated against smallpox as children, one dose is enough. For people with comprised immune systems, a third dose is recommended.

As the vaccines do not provide immediate or total protection, health authorities advise caution after receiving an injection.

(With agency inputs)


Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less

Recommended For You

Trending Stocks

Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout