While South Africa and the rest of the world continue to make strides in recovering from the Covid-19 global pandemic, a new crisis has hit Europe in the form of monkeypox, leaving many in Africa uncertain.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhano Ghebreysus highlighted some of the additional disease outbreaks that the world is battling of late, during his address to the UN's World Health Assembly in Geneva on Sunday. 6 million lives were lost during the COVID pandemic, and now additionally the monkeypox virus, acute hepatitis in children and Ebola.
South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed that there were no cases of monkeypox in South Africa and milder cases of monkeypox might go undetected which represented a risk of person-to-person transmission.
But although South Africa hasn't reported any cases, it is important that we can identify the symptoms - since we never close our borders until the pandemic is ravaging the country. Remember when we knew of the COVID variant from India, and yet we escorted it on to our shored, in an all-expense paid direct airplane from India, and then panicked when it had arrived?
How to identify monkeypox and prevent transmission
Broward Health chief medical officer Dr. Joshua Lenchus explains how to identify monkeypox and prevent transmission.
Because monkeypox is closely related to smallpox, the smallpox vaccine can provide protection against infection from both viruses. So it is no real cause for concern.
The virus can be transmitted through contact with an infected person or animal or on contaminated surfaces. Typically, the virus enters the body through broken skin, inhalation, or the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth. Doesn't that sound like how covid is transmitted too, minus the animal?
There are too many diseases at once, I can't tell the difference anymore.
Monkeypox produces smallpox-like skin lesions, but symptoms are usually milder than those of smallpox. Flu-like symptoms are common initially, ranging from fever and headache to shortness of breath. The virus is said to only start to take effect only after one to 2 weeks of infection. In my opinion, that makes it a tad dangerous because the carrier may be infecting others without even knowing that they have it yet.
One to 10 days later, a rash can appear on the extremities (An extremity is a limb or appendage of the body, particularly the hands and feet, head, or torso) that eventually turn into blisters filled with pus. Overall, symptoms usually last for two to four weeks, while skin lesions usually scab over in 14 to 21 days.
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