What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

What does the affected skin look like?

What are the stages of development of skin lesions in the patient?

Is a Monkey Pox Vaccine Needed?

Symptoms of monkeypox

Symptoms of monkeypox in humans are similar to those of smallpox but are milder.

Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

And the American Centers add that the main difference between the symptoms of the two types is that monkeypox causes the lymph nodes to swell (enlarged lymph nodes), while this does not happen in the case of smallpox.

The incubation period (the period from infection to the appearance of symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7 to 14 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.

Monkeypox begins with:

  • Fever

  • headache

  • muscle pain

  • Back pain

  • swollen lymph nodes

  • goosebumps

  • exhaustion

Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the onset of the fever, the patient develops a rash that often begins on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body.

The skin lesions in monkeypox develop through the following stages before they fall off:

  • Macules' smears

  • Papules

  • Vesicles

  • Pustules

  • Scabs veneer

The disease usually lasts for 2-4 weeks.

In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause the death of up to 1 in 10 people who contract the disease.

Transmission of monkeypox between humans

Transmission of monkeypox virus occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or material contaminated with the virus.

The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if it is not visible), the respiratory tract, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).

Animal-to-human transmission may occur by biting or scratching, preparing bush meat, direct contact with body fluids or the rash material, or indirect contact with the rash material, such as contaminated bedding.

large respiratory droplets

The American Centers say that it is believed that transmission of infection from one person to another occurs primarily through large respiratory droplets.

Respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required.

Other methods of human-to-human transmission include direct contact with body fluids or the rash material, and indirect contact with rash material, such as contaminated clothing or linens.

Should I be worried about monkeypox?

An expert in vaccines and tropical medicine said the current outbreak of monkeypox should be easier to contain than Covid-19, and indicated that the disease is more easily identifiable, according to a Darrach Roach report in Newsweek.

Peter Hotez, professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and co-director of the Vaccine Development Center at Texas Children's Hospital K, provided the main context for the monkeypox outbreak during an appearance on CNN on Friday.

The disease can cause lesions on the skin and swollen lymph nodes.

When it comes to COVID-19 and monkeypox, Hotez said, "you can't compare the two."

He pointed out that no one has died so far from an outbreak of monkeypox, and he explained that one of the symptoms of monkeypox is swollen lymph nodes around the face and neck.

He also said that this could actually be a good thing in terms of reducing transmission.

"I know it sounds kind of weird, but it's a blessing in some ways in terms of being able to trace all the contacts," Hotez added.

"The exact opposite with Covid, right? You have up to 40% of cases without any symptoms at all. This makes tracing contacts - between people - a nightmare."

And with monkeypox, any new case you have, you can easily detect and identify all your contacts, and either isolate, vaccinate or treat them.

He added that the fact that monkeypox is not very transmissible, compared to Covid, indicates that we are unlikely to see anything near the level of transmission and the level of cases that we saw with Covid.

British scientists warn: We will see more cases of monkeypox

Scientists have warned that they expect monkeypox cases to continue to rise this week as more infected people are tracked down by health authorities, according to a report by author Robin McKee, published in theguardian.

"I'm sure we'll see more cases," said Charlotte Hammer, an expert in emerging diseases at the University of Cambridge. First, health authorities are now looking very actively for cases, so we're likely to find people with mild cases that we may have. We missed it before or misdiagnosed it."

"In addition, the incubation period for monkeypox is between one and three weeks, so it is likely that we will see new infections among those who had early contact with the first outbreaks."

"Basically, we are faced with two options, either the virus is different in nature now or our susceptibility to it may have changed. Alternatively, it could be that we faced a perfect storm of conditions that allowed the virus to spread in this way. I think it is the most likely last scenario," Hammer said.

One possibility is that the effects of previous mass vaccinations against smallpox are fading, leaving fewer people protected from the closely related monkeypox.

Has the monkeypox virus changed?

Professor Keith Neal from the University of Nottingham said: Has the virus changed?

Well, it doesn't actually look deadlier, although something may have affected its transmissibility.

And don't forget that this is a DNA virus and is not likely to mutate at the rates that RNA viruses do, including those that cause Covid or HIV.

In general, I'm not too concerned."

Britain monitors daily new cases of monkeypox

The United Kingdom records new daily cases of monkeypox, a Health Security Agency official announced on Sunday, a matter that the government says it takes "seriously".

"We are monitoring additional injuries every day," the chief medical advisor for the Health Security Agency, Susan Hopkins, told the BBC, according to Agence France-Presse.

Hopkins indicated that 20 injuries were recorded last week, and a new toll will be published on Monday, including "weekend numbers."

And many European countries have recorded monkeypox infections, which may increase in number on the continent, according to a regional official at the World Health Organization said Friday.

Hopkins indicated that "the vast majority of injuries recorded so far, in the United Kingdom, are recovering on their own."

She added that monkeypox is "a new infectious disease that is spreading in our society" with "(the presence of) infected people who have never had contact with anyone coming from West Africa," where the disease was previously present.

Gays and bisexuals

She explained that the transmission of infection was recorded "primarily in individuals who identify themselves as homosexual, bisexual, or in males who have had sex with males," noting that transmission of infection can be explained by "the frequent close contact that they may have."

And the British "PA Media" agency quoted Hopkins - according to the German news agency - warning that doctors monitor local infections, often in gays or bisexuals.

She called for vigilance for the slightest symptom, adding that the risk to the population in general was "very low".

Monkeypox skin (Shutterstock)

Is a monkeypox vaccine needed?

On whether there is a need to get a vaccine to combat monkeypox, Susan said, "There is no direct vaccine for monkeypox, but we use a type of smallpox vaccine, as a safety for people in contact with infected cases."

"For contacts, this vaccine reduces the risk of infection, and this is what we are focusing on in our vaccination efforts at the present time," she added.

WHO actions

The World Health Organization has called for a series of measures to be taken against the further spread of monkeypox.

The United Nations organization in Geneva stated last night that "identifying confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox, without any travel history, to an endemic area in many countries is unusual, and therefore, there is an urgent need to raise awareness about monkeypox and conduct comprehensive case detection and isolation. (delivered with supportive care), contact monitoring, and supportive care to reduce future transmission.”

According to this organization, the cases reported so far, in Europe, North America and Australia, significantly affected males who had sex with males and visited medical facilities.

Because of the still limited surveillance situation, it is very likely that cases will arise among other populations and countries.