Monkeypox: Should South Africans be worried?

The virus has spread to 12 non-endemic countries.

monkey pox virus

While monkeypox cases have been reported in 12 non-endemic countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says this is not something the world should worry about.

Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States of America have all reported cases in recent days.

According to recent studies, the WHO has no established travel links to endemic countries.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus which belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.

The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.


Symptoms:

· Headache
· Acute onset of fever (>38.5oC)
· Swollen lymph nodes
· Myalgia (muscle and body aches)
· Back pain
· Profound weakness
· Visible rash on the surface of the skin

How does monkeypox spread?

· Through face-to-face exposure (including healthcare workers without appropriate PPE)
· Direct physical contact, including sexual contact
· Contact with contaminated materials, including clothing or bedding

Source: World Health Organisation