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Should You Worry About Monkeypox?

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, explores monkeypox in the UK, Europe and USA.


Did you know there is an outbreak of monkeypox in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, and more European nations? There have been 68 suspected instances so far. Cases include eight in England and twenty in Portugal. Canada and the United States have also reported cases.


But health experts have little idea where the infection began. And there is concern that the virus may be spreading unnoticed throughout populations. Suspicions feel it may have arisen through a novel transmission mode.


“This outbreak is exceptional and unusual,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health. “Immediate investigations continue to determine where and how the individuals contracted the diseases.”

What is Monkeypox?

So, what exactly do we know about monkeypox? And how dangerous is it relative to other developing viruses?


Contrary to what the name may suggest, monkeypox does not originate from monkeys.


According to the CDC’s website, “monkeypox” originated in 1958. 1958 is when two outbreaks occurred in colonies of monkeys held for research.


But, monkeys are not significant vectors. Instead, the virus persists in rodents such as squirrels, pouched rats and dormice.


The virus comes from animal bites, scratches, or contact with animal fluids. Then it travels via coughing, sneezing, or contact with pus from the lesions.


“Lesions caused by monkeypox are comparable to those caused by smallpox, “ adds Hewlett. “But, it does not spread very effectively between individuals. It has a substantially lower infection rate than smallpox. In many instances, individuals do not spread the virus to others.”


The World Health Organization website states, “There is no evidence to date that person-to-person transmission alone may sustain monkeypox infections in the human community.”

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Monkeypox?

The symptoms of monkeypox include:

  • Fever
  • Body pains
  • Swollen lymph nodes


Eventually, people have painful, fluid-filled blisters on the face, hands, and feet. Up to 10 percent of cases with a particular strain of monkeypox (the Congo strain) may be fatal. The present version in England is gentler. The fatality rate is below one percent. Typically, a matter resolves within two to four weeks.

How is Monkeypox Spread?

People tend to contract monkeypox from animals in West or Central Africa. The virus then reaches other regions. Transmission from person to person is uncommon.


The virus needs direct contact with bodily fluids. It travels through coughing saliva or pus from the lesions. The risk to the general population is thus low.


But, seven of the eight cases in England do not entail recent travel to Africa. Suggestions are that those patients contracted the virus in England.


Also, these individuals have had no interaction with the one traveller from Nigeria. This information shows that the virus is spreading unnoticed throughout society.


Moreover, there is evidence that the virus could be spreading via a new route: sexual interaction. According to epidemiologists, the patients seem to have contracted the virus sexually. This unique transmission route will have ramifications for outbreak response and management.


Meanwhile, the CDC is closely tracking the outbreak in Europe.

Is a Vaccine Available?

The Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccination for monkeypox in 2019. which also protects against smallpox.


The agency news release states that this vaccine is also part of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). SNS is the nation’s supply of potentially life-saving medications. SNS also provide medical equipment for use in a public health emergency. They ensure local resources are not depleted.”

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is the leading provider of affordable medical insurance in South Africa. Members enjoy access to a network of healthcare providers. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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