The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday (22 May) said it expects to identify more cases of monkeypox as it expands surveillance in countries where the disease is not typically found.
As of 21 May, 92 confirmed cases and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported from 12 member states that are not endemic for the virus, the UN agency said, adding it will provide further guidance and recommendations in coming days for countries on how to mitigate the spread of monkeypox.
While there haven't been any cases of the monkeypox reported yet in Bangladesh; the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has issued warnings at every port in the country to prevent the spread of the new virus, Monkeypox, which has been detected in at least 12 countries.
Monkeypox 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 of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in humans, the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox.
Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. The main difference between symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not.
The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days.
The illness begins with:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.
Lesions progress through the following stages before falling off:
The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks. In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease.
The US CDC adds that there are number of measures that can be taken to prevent infection with monkeypox virus:
- Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).
- 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.
JYNNEOS, also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) is an attenuated live virus vaccine which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox. The Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices (ACIP) is currently evaluating JYNNEOS for the protection of people at risk of occupational exposure to orthopoxviruses such as smallpox and monkeypox in a pre-event setting.
Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. For purposes of controlling a monkeypox outbreak in the United States, smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used.