Writer- Deb Duhita Mondal (M. Tech Biotechnology, Heritage Institute of Technology, Kolkata)
The Monkeypox virus, a genetically unique DNA virus than the other viruses such as variola, vaccinia, ectromelia, camelpox, and cowpox viruses of the same Poxviridae family was first reported in western and central parts of Africa in the year 1970. This viral disease was believed to be familiar with smallpox but showed low transmissibility in humans and clinical reports and epidemiology was poorly characterized. In the early days of the monkeypox outbreak, some clinical symptoms were fever, the onset of rashes, lymphadenopathy, and lesions on the skin. A striking peculiar feature of monkeypox is lymphadenopathy which is not found in case of the smallpox and a person is considered infectious from the onset of rashes and lesions. On May 2017, the presence of this virus was confirmed by testing lesions swabs through real-time PCR reaction in a resident of the USA. Transmission among humans can occur with infected body fluids or lesions, via infectious, fomites, and even through respiratory secretions. In countries all over the world, several cases of monkeypox have been reported which include persons identified as health care providers, prisoners through close contact, gay, bisexual, etc. In this scenario, affected patients are monitored and treated through isolation. The vaccination has become an important step in preventing monkeypox as CDC has facilitated the PEP vaccine for high-risk exposure. Contact investigations are ongoing with a constant urge to look for signs and symptoms for 21 days after exposure to an infectious person. Health authorities and researchers today still investigating the source and possible modes of transmission of this viral disease, supporting clinical information and infrastructure domestically and globally.
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