Monkeypox What do we know?
June 6th, 2022
Monkey pox is a orthopox virus that has a double stranded DNA makeup that has been infecting humans since 1970. It is part of the family of viruses including smallpox and cowpox. Remember that smallpox was a nasty and highly lethal virus to humans that his been vaccinated out of existence with the exception of frozen stored viral material at USAMRID and in Russia.
The monkeypox virus is usually carried by rodents including mice, rats, raccoons and squirrels. Humans get infected when bitten or are exposed to the virus through the animal's body fluids. Most US cases have occurred when people travel to Central or West
Africa or become exposed to imported animals from there. Human to human transmission is very rare.
The virus causes a mild illness with pox type lesions on the skin. Symptoms take 1-2 weeks to show up after infection. Fever, headache and mild flu like symptoms often occur. Shortness of breath can occur in some people. A few days later, a rash can appear on the extremities, head and/or chest that looks like classic pox. They eventually turn into blisters scabbing over in 14 to 21 days.
The virus infects many organs in severe cases leading to problems with organ function including vision issues, encephalitis, pneumonia. Also, the lesions can get infected leading to bacterial infections of varying severity.
Death is very rare and treatment is supportive care only. There are no medicines currently available to the virus. At risk groups include the elderly, immunocompromised and those with rare immune SNP's related to viral surveillance and killing.