Texas records first death from monkeypox in US

How do you get monkey pox?

Until this worldwide outbreak, monkeypox was usually spread by infected rodents – including rats, mice and even squirrels – in West and Central Africa.

People can contract the disease — which comes from the same family as smallpox — by being bitten by infected animals, touching their blood, bodily fluids or scabs, or eating game or bushmeat.

The orthopoxvirus that causes monkeypox can enter the body through broken skin—even if it’s not visible—and through the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Although monkeypox was primarily spread by wild animals, it was known that it can be transmitted between humans. But health chiefs insist it was very rare until the current outbreak.

Human-to-human transmission can occur when someone touches clothing or bedding used by an infected person, or through direct contact with the telltale scabs of the virus. The virus can also be spread through coughing and sneezing.

In the continued rise in cases, experts believe the virus is spreading through skin-to-skin contact during sex — although this exact mechanism has never been observed before.

how deadly is it

Monkeypox is usually mild, and most patients recover within a few weeks without treatment.

But the disease cannot kill up to 10 percent of cases. But that high rate is thought to be partly due to a historical lack of testing, meaning a tenth of known cases have died, rather than a tenth of all infections.

But for milder strains, the death rate is closer to one in 100 – similar to the first Covid outbreak.

Behind the current spread is the West African variant of the virus, which is milder than the Central African strain. No deaths have been reported as part of the ongoing outbreak.

How is it tested?

Monkeypox can be difficult to diagnose because it is often confused with other infections, such as chickenpox.

But when a suspected case arises, doctors send samples to their local health authorities to be tested for orthopoxvirus – the family of viruses that includes monkeypox and smallpox. If the result is positive, the sample is sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or a private laboratory for confirmation.

The test involves taking samples from skin lesions, such as B. a part of the scab, leaking liquid or pieces of dry crusts.

What are the symptoms?

It can take up to three weeks for patients infected with monkeypox to develop any of the tell-tale symptoms.

Early signs of the virus include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and fatigue – meaning it could theoretically be confused with other common illnesses.

However, the most unusual feature is a rash, which often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body, usually the hands and feet.

The rash changes and goes through different stages before eventually forming a scab that later falls off.

How long is someone contagious?

A person is contagious from the time their rash appears until all of the scabs have fallen off and there is intact skin underneath.

The crusts may also contain infectious viral material.

The infection period is thought to last three weeks but may vary from person to person.

What do I do if I have symptoms?

The CDC advises anyone with an unexplained rash or other warning sign to see their doctor for a medical evaluation and monkeypox test. Those who are not insured should visit a public health clinic.

Suspicious patients should also avoid close contact — including sex or intimacy — with others, they add.

Wearing a mask and reminding the healthcare provider that the virus is circulating in the area is also recommended when visiting a clinic. Gay and bisexual men were asked to pay special attention to the symptoms, as most cases have been found in men who have had sex with men.

What is monkey pox anyway?

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when a smallpox-like disease broke out in monkeys kept for research.

The first human case was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, and the infection has since been reported in a number of central and west African countries.

Only a handful of cases have been reported outside of Africa, and they have been limited to people with travel links to the continent.

The UK, US, Israel and Singapore are the only countries to have detected the virus before May 2022.

But as testing expanded around the world, cases were quickly spotted in other countries – including the first case in the US in May in a man who recently drove back from Canada.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that causes unusual skin rashes or lesions (shown in a handout from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that kills up to one in 10 people infected but does not spread easily between people. The tropical disease is endemic to parts of Africa and known for its rare and unusual rashes, bumps and lesions (file photo).

Nurses and doctors are advised to remain

Nurses and doctors are advised to remain “vigilant” in patients who develop a new rash or scabbed lesions (as above).

Is it related to chickenpox?

Although chickenpox causes a similar rash, it is not related to monkeypox.

The infection, which mostly affects children, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

For comparison: like smallpox, monkeypox is an orthopoxvirus. Because of this connection, smallpox vaccines also provide protection against mon keypox.

Are young people more vulnerable?

According to the World Health Organization, Americans under the age of 50 may be more susceptible to monkeypox.

This is because, up until 1972, children in America were routinely offered the smallpox vaccine, which protects against monkeypox. The program was discontinued after smallpox was eradicated.

The WHO also warns that the mortality rate is higher in young children.

Does it spread as easily as Covid?

Leading experts insist we won’t see Covid-style transmission rates in monkeypox outbreak.

A World Health Organization report last year suggested that the virus’s natural R rate – the number of people each patient would infect if they lived normally during their illness – is two.

This is lower than the original Wuhan variant of Covid and about a third the R rate of India’s “Delta” tribe.

But the actual rate is likely much lower because “distinguishing symptoms are very helpful in early detection and containment,” the team said, meaning cases are easy to spot and isolate.

Covid is mainly spread through droplets that an infected person releases when they breathe, speak, cough or sneeze.

There are a handful of smallpox antivirals and therapies that appear to work in monkeypox, including the drug Tecovirimat, or TPOXX, which was approved for monkeypox in the US in August

There are a handful of smallpox antivirals and therapies that appear to work in monkeypox, including the drug Tecovirimat, or TPOXX, which was approved for monkeypox in the US in August

Is there a vaccine against it?

The smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in the UK and Jynneos in the US, can protect against monkeypox because the viruses behind the diseases are closely related.

Data shows it prevents around 85 percent of cases and has been used in the US since 2019.

The vaccine, which costs an estimated $24.16 per dose, contains a modified live vaccinia virus that resembles both smallpox and monkeypox but does not cause disease in humans.

Because of its similarity to the smallpoxvirus, antibodies produced against this virus provide cross-protection.

Are there any medications for treatment?

There are a handful of antivirals and therapies for smallpox that seem to work for monkeypox.

These include the drug Tecovirimat – also known as TPOXX – which was approved in the US in August for use against monkeypox.

Tecovirimat prevents the virus from leaving an infected cell, thereby stopping the spread of the virus in the body.

An injectable antiviral used to treat AIDS called cidofovir can be used to treat the infection, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It also works by stopping the virus from growing.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-11160913/Texas-records-death-monkeypox.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Texas records first death from monkeypox in US

Andrew Kugle

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