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Is There Any Way To Keep Ourselves Safe From Monkeypox?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

This article has been reviewed by Dr Nikita Toshi


The entire world knows the importance of adopting precautionary measures to shield themselves from infectious diseases. COVID-19 has taught us that if we are careful and adhere to certain safety guidelines, we greatly minimize the risk of getting infected.

The new virus that is making headlines now is monkeypox. Its cases have also been reported in India. So far, cases have been reported in Kerala and Delhi. The WHO has already declared the situation a global health emergency. Naturally, people are keen to know if there are any safety precautions that they can follow to keep themselves safe from monkeypox.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a viral infection that is rather similar to smallpox, a disease that has been eradicated (both are members of the orthopoxvirus family). Until now, monkeypox cases were concentrated in the tropical regions of the African continent. But now, due to globalization and extensive travelling to and fro between continents, monkeypox is spreading across the world. 

Monkeypox is characterized by symptoms that are almost the same as those of the flu-

  • High fever with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Inflammed lymph nodes
  • Skin rashes that progress to form blisters and then dry up

How does monkeypox spread?

To understand how you can protect yourself from monkeypox, it’s important to know how the virus transmits itself.

A person may catch monkeypox upon direct contact with an infected person or animal. 

If an infected animal bites or scratches you or if you come in direct contact with the animal’s blood, pox pus and bodily fluid, you may contract monkeypox.

Human-to-human transmission- If you come in direct contact with the infected person’s pox rashes, sores, saliva or body fluids, you are likely to get infected. Intimate situations with an infected person, such as sexual intercourse, kissing or even hugging, can transmit the virus.

Unwashed clothes, utensils, bedsheets or pillow covers used by an infected person can also be held responsible for transmitting the virus to healthy individuals.

Can you adopt any preventive measures?

Awareness is the first step in preventing the spread of monkeypox. Monkeypox has arrived and we must all be on red alert. 

  • If anyone you have come in contact with has tested positive for monkeypox, you too should get tested and limit other people’s exposure to you.
  • If you are consuming animal meat, make sure that the meat is cleaned and cooked thoroughly.
  • Do not touch or handle dead animals with bare hands.
  • Do not come into physical contact with people who may have contracted monkeypox without proper safety measures.
  • Continue wearing masks as these will prevent respiratory droplets from infected people from entering your system.
  • Do not engage in sexual activities with the infected person. 
  • If there is an infected person in your home, handle the objects used by them with care. Wear gloves and masks if their utensils, clothes and bedding need to be washed. Hygiene and thorough disinfection are of paramount importance. Caregivers should wear PPEs.
  • Infected persons should be isolated in a well-ventilated room. 
  • Consult a doctor, if you notice any unusual symptoms.

There are hardly any updates on when vaccines against monkeypox will be available for all. Countries are looking into this matter urgently and many reports claim that smallpox vaccines are around 85% effective and will be manufactured afresh to help slow down the spread and severity of monkeypox.

Key takeaways

  • Monkeypox is spreading. Its transmission rate is not as rapid as COVID-19’s, but it is still a cause of worry, according to the WHO.
  • Monkeypox is transmitted through direct physical contact with infected people and animals.
  • There are many measures that you can adopt to prevent contracting monkeypox.
  • Awareness is essential.
  • Some reports have suggested that monkeypox is more likely to spread from one man to another during sex. It is our duty to ensure that the victims of monkeypox are not subjected to prejudice and ridicule. Safe sex is mandatory.

Until more information is made available to us or until vaccines reach the market, we need to follow these precautionary measures to stay safe. Hygiene, sanitization and safe sex not only have the potential to save us from monkeypox but many other deadly diseases as well. Our health is our most prized possession; let us safeguard it. 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/prevention.html

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22371-monkeypox

https://www.india.com/news/india/monkeypox-in-india-places-that-have-reported-cases-5532836/


Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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