To the editor:
I recently evaluated a patient with Monkeypox without wearing personal protective equipment. This has made me want to share information about the Monkeypox virus, which was recently deemed a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. As of Aug. 2, there were 5,811 confirmed human Monkeypox cases in the United States per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, with California and New York leading the way.
Monkeypox transmission happens two ways. The first is when humans come in contact with an infected animal’s body fluids or by an infected animal’s bite – or consume raw or undercooked processed meat from an infected animal. The second method of virus transmission in the current pandemic is human-to-human transmission, mostly during sexual contact.
A non-infected person gets exposed to the infectious material from the skin of an infected person with close physical contact and therefore acquires this infection. Other less common means of transmission include coming in contact with infected clothes or linens, or respiratory transmission via secretions or droplets when coughing and sneezing.
The monkeypox virus has a wide incubation period, ranging from five days to three weeks. Smallpox-like but less severe, human Monkeypox is distinguished by a prodromal
phase of fever and malaise along with disseminated vesicular or pustular skin rash from two to five millimeters in diameter in crops mainly at the site of virus inoculation and lymphadenopathy.
The classic rash of Monkeypox is well- circumscribed with central umbilication, i.e., central depression. One can find the typical rash picture, as well as information on symptoms, treatment and vaccination for Monkeypox in an article I have recently published, titled “Monkeypox–An emerging pandemic”:science direct.com/science/article/pii/S22142509 22002153?via%3Dihub#bib4.
The most straightforward strategy to stop the spread of viruses is generally to avoid coming in direct contact with infected secretions, bedding and animals, whether they are living or dead.
While the majority of cases are minor and self-limiting, several circumstances call for treatment. For example, antiviral medications, including tecovirimat, or TPOXX, and brincidofovir, have received FDA approval for the treatment of those with severe cases of Monkeypox, pregnant patients and children under the age of eight, as well as those with impaired immune systems. In order to find out if they qualify for vaccination or therapy, patients should speak with their primary care physicians as soon as possible.
-Dr. Kunal Ajmera, Reston