Is Monkeypox The New COVID-19? Here Are The Facts About This Disease

Arm yourself with the facts so you can protect yourself and your inner circle.

The Department of Health (DOH) recently announced that monkeypox is in the Philippines. It arrived by way of a 31-year-old Filipino who returned to the country last week.

The patient’s full name was withheld for security purposes. But the DOH says the patient traveled to countries where monkeypox is raging. Apparently, the patient is in isolation and recovering well. Ten of their close contacts are also in isolation.

What is monkeypox?

It is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. This virus belongs and the one that causes smallpox are in the same family. Monkeypox symptoms are like smallpox but, they’re milder and rarely fatal. And no, before you ask, monkeypox has nothing to do with chickenpox.

Scientists first discovered monkeypox in 1958. It spread through human contact with infected rodents. It can also spread through physical contact with infected people. The first human case of the disease recorded was in the 1970s.

The virus’s rapid spread began in early 2022, with the first case detected in the UK on May 6. So far, many of the reported cases are related to sexual health. But the US Center for Disease Control says it’s not an STD or STI. Nor is it exclusive to men who have sex with men. In fact, most people don’t know that Monkeypox has been thriving in Africa for years.

Monkeypox spreads via bodily fluids, respiratory droplets, or skin lesions. You can also get the virus through contaminated materials like clothes and beddings.

What are the symptoms and how do you get rid of Monkeypox?

The disease causes flu-like symptoms like fever and chills. It also gives you rashes that look like blisters. These pimple-like rashes can appear on different parts of the body. You can also have a headache, fatigue, muscle pain, and oral sores.

There’s currently no treatment for monkeypox. In most cases, it usually goes away on its own.

How many cases are there?

There are more than 18,000 cases worldwide. Almost 90%  of them are in countries that “have not historically reported monkeypox.”

The numbers might seem low for now but try to remember how the world saw the early months of the coronavirus.

While this might feel like the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this virus is different.

“It’s not as transmissible as COVID or other respiratory viruses. With good public health measures this can be controlled,” said Dr. Michael Phillips. Dr. Phillips is the chief epidemiologist at NYU Langone Health.

The CDC recommends wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of monkeypox. They also advised people to wash their hands often.

This virus may be easier to control than the COVID-19, but it’s no laughing matter. We must take necessary precautions to avoid making the situation worse.

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