Monkeypox?! Here is what you need to know!


Monkeypox virus has invaded Bayelsa in Nigeria with 13 people currently infected and receiving treatment. The first case was one who killed a monkey and ate it with his family. Obviously all of them started showing symptoms.

I don’t do graphic images so I struggled to find one to use as the featured image. No success -just a monkey sitting on a tree. Yeah I’m that squirmish.

Honestly, this is my first time of coming across it! So I can’t pretend to know what it is about and write an epistle on how to avoid it. But I have a detailed piece here from the trusted World Health Organization (WHO).

Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although less severe. Smallpox was eradicated in 1980. However, monkeypox still occurs sporadically in some parts of Africa.

The virus was first identified in the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1958 during an investigation into a pox-like disease among monkeys. An experiment gone wrong?

Key facts (culled from WHO)

  • Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
  • The monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans. Although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder.
  • The monkeypox virus is transmitted to people from various wild animals but has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.
  • Typically, case fatality in monkeypox outbreaks has been between 1% and 10%, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.
  • There is no treatment or vaccine available although prior smallpox vaccination was highly effective in preventing monkeypox as well.

It can be transmitted through the following means so prevention is key:

  1. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals.
  2. Human-to-human transmission. For example, close contact with infected respiratory tract secretions or  skin lesions of an infected person or objects.
  3. Via droplet respiratory particles usually requiring prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts household members of active cases at greater risk of infection.

Want to know more about how it can be transmitted, the signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention? Then click here.