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The monkeypox virus, mainly originating in the rain woodlands of western and central Africa, is the virus that causes human monkeypox, a viral zoonotic illness. People who live in or close to wooded environments may be indirectly or directly exposed to low levels, which might result in subclinical infection (Zachary & Shenoy, 2022). However, imported wild rats from Africa brought the illness to the United States lately. The clinical signs of monkeypox are comparable to those of typical smallpox, including back pain, fever, headache, flu-like symptoms, a distinctive rash, and malaise. Monkeypox has recently caught the world’s attention since it has the potential to become the next pandemic after Covid-19. Monkeypox has called attention worldwide, including in America, to its potential to become another pandemic such as Covid-19. Although monkeypox is a predictive disease, it is vital to concentrate on developing surveillance capacities that will offer useful information to create effective preparedness, preventive, and response actions.
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The Actual Situation of Monkeypox
The symptoms of monkeypox include fever and exhaustion for two to four days, followed by the formation of a distinctive rash comprising pus-filled lesions. It has been shown that monkeypox is another illness that may be deadly. By June 2, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) had received reports of or identified 780 laboratory-reported monkeypox cases (Kaler et al., 2022). These cases originated from 27states throughout four WHO areas, which are not prevalent for the monkeypox virus. The outbreak of monkeypox began on May 13, 2022. Most cases reported up to this point have been introduced through sex education or other medical services in secondary or primary healthcare settings. The people involved in these cases have been predominantly men who seem to have sex with other men, but this is not always the case.
There have been over 59,000 documented cases of monkeypox infections across the world, and at least 23 individuals have lost their lives due to the disease. This statistic corresponds to a fatality rate of around 0.04%. The West African infection cohort has been recognized from confirmed cases isolates. However, most reported cases with a tourism history reported visiting nations in North America and Europe as opposed to Central or West Africa, where the monkeypox disease is found at general levels (Khan et al., 2022). On the other hand, since the beginning of the monkeypox epidemic and until October 11, 2022, 29 countries within the EU and EEA have reported 20,455 cases of monkeypox (Liu et al., 2022). In addition, there have been a total of 63 points recorded from three countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey.
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On May 18, 2022, the United States reported its first case of monkeypox related to the ongoing disease outbreak. There have been 4,591 confirmed cases across 46 states as of September 26 in America (Rodriguez et al., 2022). These numbers account for 19% of the 19,188 cases reported worldwide. Since May, there have been over 26,000 confirmed instances of monkeypox across the Americas, and sadly, two people have lost their lives due to monkeypox in the United States.
We should not anticipate the exact epidemic as the one caused by Covid-19. We have already observed cases on three continents (this does not include where it usually dwells in Africa). This is a prospect unless we can discover what distinct sorts of activities are supporting the spread of the disease and stopping its transmission (Khan et al., 2022). However, because monkeypox can only be transmitted through far more intimate contact than can Covid-19, it is highly improbable that it would produce the same rapid spread that we witnessed with Covid-19. It is because there are significant differences when compared with Covid-19. Since it is practically impossible to tell Covid-19 from other respiratory infections, it is considerably more difficult to prevent infection with it (Kaler et al., 2022). A further point to consider is that asymptomatic people might unwittingly spread the disease. Although it is not known for sure that monkeypox can produce an illness without symptoms, those who have been vaccinated against smallpox in the past (which is becoming an increasingly rare occurrence) may experience fewer symptoms if they contract monkeypox.
Additionally, the genetic material found in monkeypox and Covid-19 is distinct from one another. DNA is present in poxviruses, while RNA is present in coronaviruses. This feature is an essential distinction because DNA viruses, which possess more stable genomes, are less likely to mutate than RNA viruses, which tend to do so more quickly when replicating (Meo, 2022). Because of this property, the Covid-10 virus has continued to disperse worldwide in many waves with each new version. As a result, we do not anticipate an epidemic such as the one caused by Covid-19 in monkeypox.
The first human case was discovered in 1970, and customarily, save from incidents involving travel or imported animals, it has mostly been reported on the African continent. However, several instances were discovered in May 2022 in many nations, including the United States, where monkeypox has not historically been prevalent. In the EU/EEA, networks of persons with several sexual partners, such as MSM, are thought to have a significant risk of spreading monkeypox. Still, the possibility of monkeypox spreading among the general population is believed to be extremely low. Nevertheless, since the end of July, there have been fewer cases of monkeypox. The conclusion of the summer event season, higher immunity levels, and risk community and communication engagement efforts that led to behavioral modifications have all been identified as significant drivers of this outcome.
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- Kaler, J., Hussain, A., Flores, G., Kheiri, S., & Desrosiers, D. (2022). Monkeypox: A comprehensive review of transmission, pathogenesis, and manifestation. Cureus, 14(7).
- Khan, S., Akbar, S. M. F., Yahiro, T., Al Mahtab, M., Kimitsuki, K., & Nishizono, A. (2022). The unprecedented rise of monkeypox in Europe and America: Are Asian countries ready for a new outbreak during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? Journal of Global Health, 12.
- Liu, X., Zhu, Z., He, Y., Lim, J. W., Lane, B., Wang, H., … & Lu, H. (2022). Monkeypox claims new victims: The outbreak in men who have sex with men. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 11(1), 1-3.
- Meo, S. A. (2022). Human Monkeypox: Old virus with new Epidemiological and Transmission Trends. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 38(8).
- Rodriguez-Morales, A. J., Lopardo, G., Verbanaz, S., Orduna, T., Lloveras, S., Azeñas-Burgoa, J. M., … & Suarez, J. A. (2022). Latin America: Situation and preparedness facing the multi-country human monkeypox outbreak. The Lancet Regional Health–Americas, 13.
- Zachary, K. C., & Shenoy, E. S. (2022). Monkeypox transmission following exposure in healthcare facilities in nonendemic settings: Low risk but limited literature. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 43(7), 920-924.