Monkeypox is a rare disease that was first identified in monkeys in the 1950s. Recently, there have been reports of human cases in several countries, leading some to wonder if it could become the next pandemic. In this article, we will explore the facts about monkeypox, its potential to cause a pandemic, and what you can do to protect yourself.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral disease that is similar to smallpox. It is caused by the monkeypox virus, which is a member of the orthopoxvirus family. The virus was first identified in monkeys in the 1950s, but the first human case was not reported until 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox, but usually less severe. They include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash then develops, often beginning on the face then spreading to the trunk and limbs. Lesions progress to pustules that crust over and fall off, leaving scars.
Monkeypox Cases and Deaths by Country
To date, there have been sporadic outbreaks of monkeypox in Central and West African countries. As of March 2023, the highest number of cases have been reported in Nigeria, with over 10,000 cases and 200 deaths. The outbreak in Nigeria began in 2017 and is still ongoing. Other countries that have reported cases include Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan.
Is Monkeypox the Latest Pandemic?
Although monkeypox is a serious disease, it is not considered a pandemic threat at this time. Pandemics occur when a new virus emerges that can spread easily from person to person, causing severe disease and potentially high mortality rates. While monkeypox can spread from person to person, it is not as contagious as diseases like measles or influenza.
In addition, monkeypox is not a new virus. It has been known for decades and there are effective treatments available. The vaccine for smallpox, which is a related virus, has also been shown to be effective against monkeypox.
Monkeypox and COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised awareness about the potential for new diseases to emerge and spread rapidly around the world. While monkeypox is not currently a pandemic threat, it is important to remain vigilant and prepared for emerging diseases.
The best way to prevent monkeypox is to avoid contact with infected animals, such as rodents and monkeys. People who live in or travel to areas where monkeypox is known to occur should take precautions such as wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent. It is also important to avoid contact with people who have monkeypox or who have been in close contact with someone who has the disease.
If you want to stay up to date on the latest news and information about monkeypox, visit the Monkeypox Tracker website. The site provides up-to-date information on monkeypox cases and deaths by country, monkeypox cases and deaths by US state, and US monkeypox testing data. You can also read the Monkeypox Tracker Blog for more information on monkeypox symptoms, transmission, prevention, and treatment.
Monkeypox is a serious disease that can cause illness and even death, but it is not currently considered a pandemic threat. While outbreaks have occurred in several countries, it is not as contagious as other diseases and there are effective treatments available. To prevent monkeypox, it is important to avoid contact with infected animals and people.
To stay informed about the latest news and information on monkeypox, be sure to visit the Monkeypox Tracker website and blog. You can also follow the Monkeypox Tracker Twitter account for real-time updates. By staying informed and taking appropriate precautions, we can help prevent the spread of monkeypox and other infectious diseases.