Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. CDC. (2015) Symptoms begin with fever, headache, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes, and feeling tired. This is then followed by a rash that forms blisters and crusts over. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is around 10 days. The duration of symptoms is typically 2 to 5 weeks. CDC. (2015).
Monkeypox may be spread from handling bush meat, an animal bite or scratch, body fluids, contaminated objects, or close contact with an infected person. Hutin, Williams, Malfait P (2001). The virus is believed to normally circulate among certain rodents in Africa. Diagnosis can be confirmed by testing a lesion for the viruses’ DNA. The disease can appear similar to chickenpox. The smallpox vaccine is believed to prevent infection. McCollum, and Damon, (2003) Cidofovir may be useful as treatment. The risk of death in those infected is up to 10%.
The virus can spread both from animal to human and from human to human. Infection from animal to human can occur via an animal bite or by direct contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids. The virus can spread from human to human by both respiratory (airborne) contact and contact with infected person’s bodily fluids. Risk factors for transmission include sharing a bed, room, or using the same utensils as an infected patient. Increased transmission risk associated with factors involving introduction of virus to the oral mucosa. Kantele A, Chickering K, Vapalahti O, Rimoin AW (2016) Incubation period is 10–14 days. Prodromal symptoms include swelling of lymph nodes, muscle pain, headache, fever, prior to the emergence of the rash. The rash is usually only present on the trunk but has the capacity to spread to the palms and soles of the feet, occurring in a centrifugal distribution. The initial macular lesions exhibit a papular, then vesicular and pustular appearance. Kantele A, Chickering K, Vapalahti O, Rimoin AW (2016).