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Is there another virus? Yes, monkeypox is spreading and making headlines. Let’s look at what monkeypox is and what’s going on in the world.

From what is happening around the globe it’s clear that even a microscopic species can cause a great impact on existence. It is visualized over the years how infectious diseases have affected human history as independent agents of societal transformation. One of the greatest threats to global health is posed by viral zoonosis, which is an infectious disease transmitted between species, that is from animals to humans and vice versa.

Around two years back the entire humankind across the world was instructed and forced to stay indoors because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We observed and experienced how a microscopic virus which resembled a “crown” had dominated the entire world.

 COVID-19 is the most recent of the series of pandemics that have swept the globe in the last century. There have been four significant global pandemics since 1900 that have killed millions of people. We are aware or have at least heard about these past pandemics, which include the Spanish Flu of 1918 ( caused by the H1N1 virus), which was the most deadliest and severe pandemic of the 20th century. Then 1957 Asian Flu (caused by the H2N2 virus, 1968 Hong Kong Flu (caused by influenza A subtype H3N2 virus) and H1N1 Swine Flu of 2009 (caused by H1N1 influenza virus).


The world health body was heavily criticized for the delay in declaring the outbreak of coronavirus as a global pandemic. And now monkeypox turned out to be a new threat against mankind and its outbreak is also quite concerning and unusual. And this calls for the question of whether monkeypox is going to be the next pandemic.

As is the reason for a global health emergency, the monkeypox outbreak and its chances of turning into a global pandemic need to be acknowledged. In order to understand the seriousness it imposes, one should be aware of what it really is. What are the signs and symptoms, the treatment and preventions against it? And how does it spread?

MONKEYPOX: Vital Information

Unlike COVID-19 which was caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus,  monkeypox isn’t a new disease. If we look at the history it can be understood, as the first case was discovered about 64 years back now (the year 2022) that is in 1958 and was observed in a monkey and thus it is named so.

Then later a small child was infected and it marked the first infection in a human it was discovered in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These are mainly found in the tropical rainforests of central and west Africa, but now they are circulating around the globe, even in places which aren’t prone to this disease. And this actually triggered the world’s health body as the condition is unusual and troubling.  

As mentioned before, a zoonotic virus can transmit from an infected animal to a human and from an infected human to another. Here monkeypox is also a rare zoonotic disease, as we know its source is an animal. The Orthopoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family comprises the encapsulated double-stranded DNA virus known as the monkeypox virus. The variola virus which is the causative agent of smallpox also belongs to this genus.

The central African (Congo Basin) clade and the west African clade are two separate genetic clades of the monkeypox virus. In the past, the Congo Basin clade was thought to be more contagious and to produce more severe illnesses. The only nation where both viral clades have been discovered is Cameroon, which serves as the geographic boundary between the two groups. 

Signs and symptoms of monkeypox virus

Since the outbreak of the monkeypox virus, newspapers, news channels and other mediums have been flashing news in a much more detailed way to make people aware of its seriousness. Even the condition of people affected was also observed. From the pictures and by listening to the experiences of the affected people, the worst part of this infectious disease is understandable. The detailed information about the signs and symptoms of the monkeypox virus.

signs and symptoms of monkeypox

The people infected develop rashes featuring lesions that range in number and severity and it can be painful too. The early symptoms of the monkeypox virus include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
  • a rash that could be found on or near the genitalia (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole), as well as on the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

Prior to healing, the rash will go through a number of stages, including scabs. The rash may be unpleasant or itchy, and it may resemble pimples or blisters. These rashes usually appear after 1-5 days from the early symptoms. The rash starts as flat, red bumps and these lumps develop into blisters that discharge pus. The blisters eventually dry out and peel off; the entire process can take two to four weeks. Additionally, sores in the mouth, vagina, or anus are possible. The incubation period for it is around 21 days. While compared to the symptoms of smallpox, it is much milder. 

Not every monkeypox patient experiences every symptom. In fact, many cases in the current (2022) outbreak aren’t exhibiting the typical set of symptoms exhibited by the cases in endemic areas. Only a few lesions, no enlarged lymph nodes, a lower fever, and fewer additional symptoms of sickness are present in this unusual presentation. You may possess it without realizing it. However, even if you don’t exhibit many symptoms of an infection, you can still infect others through extended close contact.

How does monkeypox spread?

How does monkeypox spread?

These are the ways in which monkeypox tends to spread:

  1. Anyone can contract monkeypox through close, direct, and frequently skin-to-skin contact, including:
  • Direct touch with a monkey-pox patient’s rash, scabs, or bodily fluids.
  • Contact with items, materials (such as clothing, beds, or towels), or surfaces that have been touched by a person who has monkeypox.
  • Exposure to respiratory secretions.

2.  This direct contact can occur during intimate interactions,

  •  Such as oral, anal, and vaginal sex, as well as when someone has monkeypox and you touch their genitalia (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina).
  • Extended face-to-face interaction, massages, kisses, and hugs.
  • Touching linens, towels, fetish apparatus, and sex toys that have not been cleaned and were previously used by a person who has monkeypox.  

3. Through the placenta, a pregnant person can transmit the virus to their unborn child.

Additionally, individuals can contract monkeypox from diseased animals by being bitten or scratched by them, preparing or consuming meat from them, or using their products.

From the moment symptoms appear until the rash has completely disappeared and a new layer of skin has developed, a person with monkeypox might transmit it to others. Usually, the disease lasts two to four weeks.


For infections caused by the monkeypox virus, there are no specific therapies. However, because the monkeypox and smallpox viruses share genetic characteristics, antiviral medications and vaccinations created to guard against smallpox may also be used to treat and prevent infections with the monkeypox virus. People who are more prone to become seriously ill, such as individuals with weakened immune systems may be advised to take antivirals such as tecovirimat (TPOXX).

Even if you don’t believe you have had contact with anyone who has the disease, you should consult your doctor if you get symptoms of monkeypox. Symptom relief, complication management, and long-term sequelae prevention should all be properly optimized in clinical therapy for monkeypox. Fluids and food should be provided to patients in order to maintain a healthy nutritional condition.


According to the chief of the World Health Organization( WHO), “ WHO recommends targeted vaccination for those exposed to someone with monkeypox, and for those at high risk of exposure, incl. health workers, some lab workers, and those with multiple sexual partners. At this time, we do not recommend mass vaccination against monkeypox”

Several observational studies have shown that the smallpox vaccine is around 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. Therefore, a previous smallpox immunization may cause less sickness. Due to the cross-protection provided for the immune response to orthopoxviruses, smallpox and monkeypox vaccines are created based on the vaccinia virus.


The primary preventative method for monkeypox involves increasing public knowledge of risk factors and teaching individuals about the steps they may take to lessen virus exposure. A scientific evaluation of the viability and suitability of vaccination for the prevention and control of monkeypox is now being conducted. Some nations have policies in place or are creating them to provide vaccines to people who may be at risk, including laboratory staff, members of quick reaction teams, and healthcare professionals.

Keeping your hands clean will help keep you from getting sick. Use personal protective equipment, such as gloves, a face mask, goggles, and disposable gowns, when caring for someone who has monkeypox. As directed by your doctor, isolate yourself from other people as long as the rash is present if you have been diagnosed with monkeypox.

Avoid sexual activity if you have monkeypox until all lesions are fully healed, scabs have peeled off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. After healing, continue using condoms for 8 to 12 weeks. Monkeypox can be stopped from spreading by isolating affected individuals and tracing their contacts.


From experiencing the outbreak of coronavirus and currently monkeypox virus it’s clear that these life-threatening infectious diseases keep on affecting mankind. Some of these are new and while some are re-emerging.  According to the World Economic Forum(WEF), there are around 1.7 million undiscovered viruses existing in mammals and birds and out of it around 827,000 of them are prone or have the ability to infect humans. 

The unpreparedness for the outbreak of such malicious infectious diseases can even lead to tremendous death rates and social and economic disruption around the globe. We have experienced, we have learned from such an unexpected dreadful event around two years back. COVID-19 made us aware of what we are limited to and how to plan to eradicate the happening of such woeful events. 

I hope that this article is helpful in making you aware of monkeypox. The article also details the ways in which this infectious disease tends to spread, its signs and symptoms, and then the treatment and prevention against it. I hope those who are reading this article and their family are happy and healthy. Let’s hope and work together for a better future. 

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