This blog is written by our clinicians and aims to keep patients informed with up to date information on medical conditions.
Belonging to the same family of viruses as Smallpox, Monkeypox is a viral disease that has transmitted from animals to humans. Originating from the tropical rainforests of central and west Africa, the Monkeypox virus spread has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. At least 16,000 cases have been reported in 75 countries to date*.
The symptoms are generally mild, with only 5 deaths reported. As the virus is contagious and spread by close contact, it is still important to seek help immediately if experiencing the following symptoms: high temperature, headache, muscle aches, backaches, swollen glands, shivering, exhaustion, and most notability a rash with blisters that begins on the face and then spreads over the rest of the body.
The outbreak is primarily concentrated among men who have sex with other men, though, it can be contracted by any individual and is spread by close contact.
Getting tested and Vaccinated
If Monkeypox is suspected, then samples can be taken and analyzed to confirm the diagnosis. A polymerase chain reaction test is performed by obtaining samples from the vesicle or ulcers. Follow-up testing may be needed for conformation by blood sample, urine sample, or throat or lesion swabs.
Due to the similarities that the Monkeypox and Smallpox virus share, the vaccine used for Smallpox is the most effective way in preventing the spread of Monkeypox. Not only does the vaccine reduce the likelihood of us spreading the disease to each other, it will also prevent the risk of an individual catching the disease from an infected animal.
The vaccine process consists of 2 doses, after which, antibodies should then be fully developed.
If you have any concerns re symptoms or contracting the Monkeypox virus, contact us and we can provide advice, testing, vaccination and support.
*Sunday Times 24th July 2022.