1. Double stranded DNA virus (Zoonotic)
- Family poxviridae, Genus orthopoxvirus
- Family of pox viruses includes other viruses like chicken pox or the eradicated small pox.
- 1958: First identified in laboratory monkey kept for research
- 1970: First human case was identified in DR Congo
- 1985: First isolation in nature, in an ailing rope squirrel in DR Congo
- 2003: First human infection outside Africa documented in USA
- From infected animals or humans
- Following contact with body fluids/materials of animals or infected humans
- Following bite, scratch or even bush meat preparation
- Entry via broken skin or mucosa (skin, respiratory tract, mucus membrane eye, nose, mouth).
- Shared utensils, bed, room etc increase risk of transmission
4. Incubation period
- Seven to fourteen days commonly but could extend from five to twenty-one days.
5. Signs and symptoms
- Similar to small pox but milder
- Fever, chills, drenching night sweats, headache
- Muscles aches (backache), Exhaustion-Lymph-nodes swell up (absent in small pox)
6. Case definition
- Designed to detect single cases followed by immediate response and control efforts: Fever followed by rash (vesicular/pustular) with rash on palm, soles and face or 5 various-like scars
- Designed for use in the context of disease surveillance to elaborate on burden in endemic areas: Individual with vesicular/pustular eruptions with at least one of the symptoms: fever preceding eruptions, lymphadenopathy and/or pustules/crust on the palms of the hands or sole of the feet
7. After 1-10 days
- Centrifugal rash: Rash macule-papule-vesicles-pustules-umbilical-then crusted (scab)
8. Case fatality
- One to ten percent die from this infection
- Small pox vaccine (for at-risk workers) which can be given up to 14 days post exposure
- Hygiene (Hand washing) with soap and water or alcohol based sanitizer
- Avoid ill or dead animals’ suspects or their materials
- Isolation of suspects or identified cases
- Use personal protective equipment when caring for patients (for health workers)
10. Treatment and vaccine
- There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for monkey pox infection, but outbreaks can be controlled. Vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkey pox in the past but the vaccine is no longer available to the general public after it was discontinued following global smallpox eradication.