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Monkeypox has been getting into the recent headlines after outbreaks were recorded across the U.S., Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Health experts have expressed concerns that cases may increase if not mitigated quickly.
The outbreak was recorded in places where the virus is not endemic – which means that the carrier of the virus has already traveled and may have infected people already, unbeknownst to them. Further, this is happening amid new waves of COVID-19 variants causing major economic hubs to impose other lockdown protocols to limit the spread of the new variants.
According to the data by Our World in Data, 346 cases have already been confirmed in 22 countries – marking its first community spread. The World Health Organization said that the virus spreads mainly through sex, particularly on men having sex with other men.
The WHO said that anyone is at risk of contracting the virus – children, non-immunized individuals, and pregnant women are considered high risk.
Smallpox vaccines have been discovered to be 85% effective against Monkeypox. That is why health experts at WHO said that vaccinations may no longer be needed to counter the spread of the virus.
WHO emphasized the need for good hygiene and safe sex to stop the spread of the virus.
How do you protect yourself from Monkeypox
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the U.K.’s National Health Service recommended the public to:
- Avoid coming into contact with people recently diagnosed with the virus or those who may have been infected.
- Wear a face mask if you are in close contact with someone who has symptoms.
- Use condoms and keep an eye out for symptoms if you have recently changed sexual partners.
- Avoid coming into contact with animals that could be carrying the virus. This includes sick or dead animals and particularly those with a history of infection, such as monkeys, rodents and prairie dogs.
- Practice good hand hygiene, especially after coming into contact with infected — or suspected infected —animals or humans. For instance, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients with confirmed or suspected monkeypox infection.
- Only eat meat that has been cooked thoroughly.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb said, “This is a virus that is super stable outside the human host, so it can live on objects like blankets and things like that.” Since the virus can be transmitted via things and surfaces, scientists said it is better that people keep away from materials that have made contact with sick people or animals.
If you get infected with Monkeypox, what should you do?
Once infected, a patient can feel initial symptoms that include:
- Muscle aches
Within one to five days after infection, a patient will develop rashes and lesions on the face, feet, eyes, hands, mouth, or genitals. The rashes will become bumps and then blisters which may contain whitish fluid.
If you’re diagnosed with Monkeypox, isolation should be the first move. Most people recover from the virus within 2 to 4 weeks – patients are encouraged to isolate themselves within that period.
The best and safest solution, according to U.K.’s National Health Service, is to admit oneself to a specialist hospital.
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.