The monkeypox epidemic, which has emerged in many regions, especially in European countries, in recent weeks has increased its effect. British experts answered questions about the monkeypox virus, which first appeared in Africa and has spread to America, Europe and Australia in recent weeks.
After the corona virus, which caused the death of 6.5 million people worldwide, there is concern this time about the monkeypox virus. In fact, the scenario is very familiar. A mysterious virus begins to spread, the public is alarmed and scientists are looking for answers…
As the monkeypox virus, which has been seen in 20 countries so far, has raised concerns, scientists have answered some curious questions. Could a monkeypox outbreak turn into a pandemic? Are we facing a new case of corona virus? How worried should we be? Who is most at risk?
Experts from the UK Health Safety Agency NHS answered curious questions.
MOST VULNERABLE GROUP ANNOUNCED
The NHS said the risk to the general population is low, but “we ask people to be alert for any new rashes or lesions that may appear as spots, ulcers or blisters anywhere on their body”. warned.
Stressing that the monkeypox virus particularly affects people with weakened immune systems, experts have also named the very old and very young as a “vulnerable” group.
So, can monkeypox be the new corona virus? Like the virus that causes Covid-19, monkeypox has spread from animals to humans, experts say. But this is the only similarity between the two viruses. To begin with, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid, was new. No one, anywhere, was immune to it before. But the monkeypox virus is not new. It was first described by Danish scientists in the late 1950s when a smallpox-like disease developed in the monkeys they were studying. However, despite the name of the virus, the main carriers are not monkeys, but rodents such as mice and squirrels have been reported.
HOW IS THE VIRUS TRANSMITTED?
It has been reported that monkeypox virus can be transmitted to humans through a rodent bite or through contact with blood, body fluids, or skin blisters caused by the virus. It has been pointed out that when a person is infected, they can transmit the virus to other people through close physical contact. Additionally, the virus has been reported to be transmitted through coughing or sneezing due to its presence in saliva.
So, is the monkeypox virus a sexually transmitted disease? According to scientists, the answer is simply no. Sexual contact is not considered the primary mode of transmission of the virus. For example, there is still no evidence that HIV is transmitted through semen or vaginal secretions. However, skin-to-skin contact during sex can cause transmission if either partner has monkeypox lesions.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
What are the symptoms of the disease? The monkeypox virus initially causes a flu-like effect. Fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes (glands in the neck, groin, or under the arms), and fatigue are among the most common symptoms. Within one to five days, a rash appears, usually first on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body, including the genitals.
The rash looks like chickenpox. It starts out as raised spots that turn into small fluid-filled blisters. These bubbles turn into scabs which eventually fall off.
HOW TO DETECT? HOW DOES THE HEALING PROCESS OCCUR?
So how is the monkeypox virus detected and how should the recovery process take place?
If someone is suspected of having monkeypox, that person should be tested by PCR, just like in the Covid-19 process. There is no specific treatment and the NHS has currently advised patients to stay home until they recover if symptoms are mild.
If the disease is more severe, give patients antiviral drugs; Treatment may be recommended, including Tecovirimat and Cidofovir designed for smallpox.
IS THE MONKEY POLO VIRUS DEADLY?
There are two species of monkeypox, and the circulating West African species is known to be less virulent. The Central African or Congo Basin variant is more dangerous.
People with weakened immune systems, young children, pregnant women and the elderly are at greater risk.
Severe monkeypox can lead to pneumonia, severe lung disease and sepsis, a life-threatening immune system reaction, brain swelling and loss of vision due to corneal damage, the clear lens in the front of the ‘eye.
IS IT DANGEROUS FOR CHILDREN?
So, is the monkeypox virus dangerous for children?
Based on the very limited information available, the answer is yes. The World Health Organization has said that if children are infected they may be at greater risk, possibly because it can damage their less protected immune systems. Experts said the most common cases of monkeypox in Africa were seen in children, and it was pointed out that this was mostly due to children playing with rodents in the region.
ARE TRANSPORT VEHICLES RISKY?
Is it possible to catch the monkeypox virus in transport vehicles such as planes, buses, trains?
The answer is yes. According to experts, sitting right next to or less than one meter from someone with monkeypox virus on an airplane or bus is among the scenarios that put an individual at moderate risk of exposure to the virus. However, experts stressed that people seated outside the 1 meter limit, meaning three rows to the side or rear of the plane, pose a “low risk”. It was also said that these people were not advised to take precautions as long as they remained asymptomatic.