According to the World Health Organization, the monkeypox virus has been around for years. Recently, there have been over 1200 confirmed cases in countries where monkeypox is not usually found, including the European Union, United Kingdom and the United States.
The first case of monkeypox was discovered in 1958, when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease broke out.
The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in people in several other central and western African countries including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire,
the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone.
According to the WHO, as at 8 June 2022, 1285 laboratory-confirmed cases and one probable case have been reported to WHO from 28 countries in four WHO Regions where monkeypox is not usual or had not previously been reported with the first monkeypox case being detected in the United Kingdom in a person who had a travel history
to Nigeria in early May.
The virus is spread through respiratory droplets and is mostly spread from person-to-person via close contact, touching sores or body fluids and animal contact such as close contact, touching sores or body fluids, bites or scratches and eating infected meat.
There is currently no cure for monkeypox and treatment is symptomatic. Most cases will improve within a 2 – 4 week period.
Initial symptoms of monkeypox are upper respiratory or flu-like symptoms and a prominent fever, body aches and pains, headache, and fatigue. However, they do not show up for up to two weeks after someone is infected and can progress to a rash often found on the hands, feet, face, mouth, or even genitals. These rashes transform
into raised bumps or painful puss-filled red papules.
No cases of monkeypox have been detected in South Africa and specialists say a vaccine against smallpox and monkeypox has been approved but it is not yet widely available.
Source: Healthline, NICD, Visual Capitalist, WHO & BBC