Mpox virus is closely related to smallpox, and prior to 2022 it was typically found in parts of Central and West Africa, now it’s endemic but decreasing in incidence in most countries. The virus was first discovered in 1958 when an outbreak occurred in monkeys that were kept in captivity. Since then, there have been occasional outbreaks in humans, but they have been relatively rare.
The symptoms of Mpox are similar to those of smallpox, but they tend to be milder, though that attribute is not written by all patients many whom might even disagree when they are experiencing the symptoms.
The first signs of the virus include fever, headache, muscle aches and chills. Within a few days, a rash will appear, and it will eventually turn into raised bumps that are filled with fluid. In some cases, these bumps will develop into pustules, which can be quite painful.
The virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids or contaminated objects, such as clothing, bedding or towels. It can also be transmitted through the air, although this is less common. Most cases of Mpox are mild and will resolve on their own, but severe cases can be life-threatening, especially in people with weakened immune systems.
Prevention is the key to avoiding infection by the Mpox virus. People who live in or travel or engage in high exposure risk areas and activities where the virus is known to occur should take precautions and inquire about prophylaxis to avoid infection. They should also avoid sharing personal items, such as towels or clothing, and should practice good hygiene, such as washing their hands regularly.
Although Mpox is a serious disease, it is currently still relatively rare and can usually be prevented with standard precautions. By being aware of the risks and taking steps to protect themselves, people can reduce their chances of contracting this potentially dangerous virus.