The Monkeypox virus is spreading in humans causing a new outbreak. The virus that causes Human Monkeypox disease is in the same family as the viruses that causes smallpox.
What are the symptoms of Human Monkeypox?
According to the US CDC, symptoms can include:
• Muscle aches and backache
• Swollen lymph nodes
• A rash
Rashes look like pimples or blisters and can appear all over the body. The appearance of rashes are common on the face or inside the mouth.
Symptoms usually appear one or two weeks after infection.
How does Human Monkeypox spread?
Human Monkeypox spreads through directly touching an infected rash, scab, or bodily fluid. The virus can also spread via droplets from prolonged close talking or a face-to-face meeting. Physical contact including kissing, cuddling, or other bedroom activities.
Infection can also spread by touching surfaces that have the virus. A report by Nörz and team found that the monkeypox virus can survive on surfaces at room temperature for at least 15 days (Nörz et al. 2022).
The outbreak of Human Monkeypox is different from COVID-19. Comparing these two disease at the start of their outbreak, we have better tools to fight the Human Monkeypox outbreak than we did for COVID-19.
How to treat Monkeypox?
Tecovirimat is an approved antiviral medicine in the US and Europe to treat orthopoxviruses, which includes smallpox and monkeypox. Antivirals stop or slows the rate of viral replication in a host.
Is there a Monkeypox Vaccine?
In one report by Reynolds and Damon, an outbreak of Monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was controlled by injecting the smallpox vaccine (Reynolds & Damon. 2012). There are already available and approved for smallpox vaccines. The Modified vaccinia Ankara called MVA-BN has several brand names including Imvanex, Imvamune, and Jynneos, is the third generation smallpox vaccine. This vaccine has also been shown to be effective against Human Monkeypox virus.
ACAM2000 is an older smallpox vaccine. Many countries have stockpiles of this version of the smallpox vaccine. However, ACAM2000 has several side effects and is not as safe as the new MVA-BN vaccine.
Differences between Monkeypox and COVID-19
Human Monkeypox is different from COVID-19 for several reasons. The two viruses are different types of viruses. Human Monkeypox has visible symptoms, compared to COVID-19, which can spread asymptomatically. The first case of Monkeypox in humans was before COVID-19. Currently there are approved vaccines for preventing monkeypox infection.
Human Monkeypox and COVID-19 are two diseases that are caused by different types of viruses. The virus that causes COVID-19 is an RNA virus, while the Monkeypox virus is a DNA virus.
At the time of global outbreak of COVID-19, we did not have an approved vaccine or antiviral medicine. Human Monkeypox has an approved vaccine and antiviral medicine to fight the disease. The first documented human case of COVID-19 was in 2019, while the first documented human case of Monkeypox was in 1970. We have known about the virus that causes Monkeypox for a lot longer and have more knowledge and tools to stop the current outbreak of the disease. We should not panic, but take precautions to reduce the spread of this new outbreak.
This information is for education and research purposes only. This is not for diagnostic or medical use. For a medical diagnoses consult with your doctor.
Nörz, D., Pfefferle, S., Brehm, T. T., Franke, G., Grewe, I., Knobling, B., … & Knobloch, J. K. (2022). Evidence of surface contamination in hospital rooms occupied by patients infected with monkeypox, Germany, June 2022. Eurosurveillance, 27(26), 2200477.
Parker, S., & Buller, RM. (2013) A review of experimental and natural infections of animals with monkeypox virus between 1958 and 2012. Future Virol. Feb 1;8(2):129-157. doi: 10.2217/fvl.12.130. PMID: 23626656; PMCID: PMC3635111.
Reynolds, M. G., & Damon, I. K. (2012). Outbreaks of human monkeypox after cessation of smallpox vaccination. Trends in microbiology, 20(2), 80-87.