What is the "monkeypox" that began to spread in the world?

And what are its symptoms?

And what does it have to do with monkeys?!

 The United States of America recorded the first case of "monkeypox", a disease that has nothing to do with monkeys, except that it was the first victim of it.

The discovery of this rare virus after Spain, Portugal and Britain raised questions about its seriousness and the possibility of its spread.

Monkeypox belongs to the family of smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980, although it is still present with lower transmissibility, milder symptoms and less lethality than before.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved the first monkeypox vaccine in 2019.

And "NBC News" reported that the infection was a man from Massachusetts.

And Spain had detected earlier the first infection with the disease, after outbreaks of cases in Portugal and the United Kingdom.

According to the newspaper "The Guardian", health authorities in Spain issued a warning about a possible outbreak of monkeypox after 23 people showed symptoms compatible with the viral infection.

The health ministry said a nationwide alert had been issued "to ensure a prompt, coordinated and timely response".

But what is monkeypox?

So far, global health officials don't have enough information about how these people have been infected.

There is also concern that the virus may spread through the community undetected, possibly through new routes of transmission

The NHS estimates the risks to the general population are low.

She says the disease usually causes mild symptoms that can take severe paths.

She added that the infection is transmitted only through infected people and those who have close contact with them

Epidemiologist Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser to Britain's Health Security Agency, described the current cases as a "rare and unusual" outbreak.

She asked: "Where and how did these people become infected? ... The matter is still under investigation."

Monkeypox usually begins with symptoms including fever, headache, muscle and back aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue, eventually resulting in a rash and painful fluid-filled blisters on the face, hands and feet.

The rash usually appears on the face first, then affects the hands and feet, and tends to develop within one to three days.

One copy of monkeypox can be fatal, killing up to 10% of those infected.

But the nature of the current infections in Britain is "more moderate", and the disease is under control within two to four weeks

The people most at risk of contracting this disease in West or Central Africa were usually animals.

Body-to-body transmission requires close contact with body fluids, such as saliva from a cough or pus from lesions.

Therefore, the risk ratio can be considered low, according to the British Ministry of Health.

But some scientists are also looking into the hypothesis of its transmission through sexual contact, according to a report broadcast by the American NPR radio.

And since the cases discovered in Britain did not include cases of travel to Africa or contact with any registered patient who traveled there, virologist Angie Rasmussen of the Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Organization suggested that “this is a hidden spread from a case coming from abroad.”

Despite the name, the disease is not transmitted primarily from monkeys.

And “NPR” quoted an expert on monkeypox as saying that “in fact, it is a bit of a misnomer … we should probably call it rodentpox,” such as squirrels or rats, which spread the virus by scratching, biting or touching their fluids.

But the reason for affixing the name to monkeys is that the first documented cases of the disease appeared in 1958 among monkeys in a research laboratory that included monkeys on which scientific experiments were being conducted, according to “NPR”.

However, the American magazine "Forbes" reported that the first human case was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, explaining that since then, human infections appeared in Congo and Cameroon and from there to several African countries, and then spread outside the brown continent.

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