Main menu


Monkeypox: What to know about the disease

 Monkeypox: symptoms, transmission, infection... What to know about the disease

More than 85 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 11 countries in Europe, North America, and Australia, unusual for a virus largely confined to Central and West Africa.

The United States confirmed the first case of monkeypox this year - a man in Massachusetts - on Wednesday, and a second case followed in New York on Friday.

By Friday, France, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands had each confirmed one case, Canada reported two, and Belgium and Italy reported three. The United Kingdom reported 20 cases, Portugal 23, and Spain 30. Australia reported one case Friday in a traveler who had recently returned from the United Kingdom. Most of these countries have other suspected cases pending confirmation.

This is the largest monkey outbreak in the history of the Western Hemisphere, said Anne Rimoin, professor of epidemiology at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health.

The last outbreak of this type in the Western Hemisphere was in 2003 when 47 cases were detected in the United States.

Health authorities are trying to trace people who have come in contact with the virus to limit its spread. Although monkeypox is a rare disease that originated in Africa, the victim has never traveled to a country where the virus is circulating.

Referred by CBS News(Health officials investigating possible monkeypox case in New York City)

What are the warning signs?

Monkeypox-whose official name is simian orthodox-is characterized by the following features:

  • often high fever
  • headaches
  • aches and pains
  • fatigue

Two days later, a rash appears with small lumps of fluid that look like small blisters on the skin.

These blisters usually appear on the face, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. They can also affect the mouth and genitals. A scab then forms and heals. Once the scabs fall off, the patient is no longer infectious. Itching is common.

What is the incubation period?

The incubation period of the disease can vary from 5 to 21 days. The febrile phase lasts one to three days. A laboratory test is needed to diagnose the disease.

Monkeypox: symptoms, transmission, infection... What to know about the disease

How is the virus transmitted?

Monkeypox is transmitted to humans by various wild animals, primates, and rodents. The disease is caused by direct contact with the blood, body fluids, skin, or mucous membranes of infected animals. Human-to-human transmission usually occurs by inhalation of droplets.

Is it contagious?

If the infection is transmitted from human to human through respiratory droplets, "prolonged eye contact" is required, according to WHO. However, simianpanula is not very contagious among humans.

Should you be isolated?

The disease is a notifiable infection. If symptoms appear, contact the ambulance service. It is recommended that you isolate yourself pending medical advice and avoid contact with other people.

How serious is the disease?

Although monkeypox is rare, it is usually mild. It can be more severe in children and people with weakened immune systems. No deaths have been reported in Europe.

How quickly does it recover?

Recovery takes two to three weeks.

Is there a vaccine?

There is currently no vaccine or drug against the virus. However, the Pasteur Institute reports that the smallpox vaccine is 85 percent effective.


table of contents title