Is There A New Pandemic
Is There A New Pandemic Looming?
Until very recently, almost no one had heard of Monkeypox, and suddenly it’s in the headlines! So what exactly is it and how should we react?
The information currently available suggests that Monkeypox has a much lower rate of transmission that Covid-19 and, at present, represents a low risk to the general population.
Where has it come from?
Monkeypox is commonly found in central and west Africa where there are tropical rainforests and where animals that may carry the virus typically live. People with Monkeypox are occasionally identified in other countries outside of central and west Africa, following travel from regions where Monkeypox is endemic.
Several countries where Monkeypox is not endemic have reported cases in May 2022. As of 19 May 2022, cases are being reported from over 10 countries in non-endemic areas. At the time of writing, in the UK 50 new cases had been reported taking the total to 1,076. The first UK case was reported in 2019.
The incubation period for Monkeypox is the duration/time between contact with the infected person and the time that the first symptoms appear. The incubation period for Monkeypox is between 5 and 21 days.
Monkeypox infection is usually a self-limiting illness and most people recover within several weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.
The illness begins with:
- muscle aches
- swollen lymph nodes
Within 1 to 5 days after the appearance of fever, a rash develops, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab which later falls off.
An individual is contagious until all the scabs have fallen off and there is intact skin underneath. The scabs may also contain infectious virus material.
Is the government up to speed with the possibilities, we may well ask?
The latest government guidance advises close contacts of confirmed Monkeypox cases to isolate for 21 days. This includes anyone who had “unprotected direct contact or high-risk environmental contact”. It has to be said that so far, this is “advice” not a legal requirement, however, based on our most recent experiences, better safe than sorry?
We will update readers if the situation changes. One possible change in the near future which has already been mooted, is to change the name of the condition.
The Graham Agency, working with you.