Is Monkeypox dangerous

What Monkeypox Looks Like[Immunological aspect of the disease]

Monkeypox is a virus of the smallpox virus family. Recently, a lot of people across the world got the infection from the sudden viral outbreak. Vaccines of smallpox are ordered and are being administered currently. Learn more about the spread of the disease from this article.

Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family and is a viral zoonosis (the viruses transmits from animals to humans). Many have heard of smallpox and WHO (World Health Organization) confirmed the MonkeyPox virus is from the family of smallpox viruses. “Is MonkeyPox dangerous?” It is a question everyone wants answers for.

Smallpox viral illness was eradicated in 1980 and the vaccination process also ceased by then. Monkeypox primarily occurs in West Africa and Central Africa. The virus is often available near tropical rain forests. However, now these viruses are showing their appearance in urban areas.

Animal agents:

The animals that transmit the virus include rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian pouched rats, dormice, non-human primates and even other species.

First outbreak:

The human MonkeyPox virus outbreak first was identified in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Spread of the disease:

Since 1970, the virus spread in 11 different countries.

  • Cameroon
  • Benin
  • The Central African Republic
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Gabon
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Republic of the Congo

How or why the outbreaks happen- Is Monkeypox dangerous?

There are no apparent reasons why the outbreaks happen.

  • In some instances, the fatality rate is low while there is a high attack rate.
  • In other scenarios, the infection rate is low but the fatality rate is high.

1. The Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The fatality rate was low but the infection rate was high. This event occurred in 1996-1997 and subsequently, there was another attack of chicken pox and Monkeypox together concurrently. The dynamics remained the same and there were no changes in the transmission dynamics.

2. Nigerian outbreak

Nigeria experienced a large outbreak with the number of suspected cases being 500 or more. There were 200 cases with a fatality rate of 3%. Even to date the WHO has reports of cases from frequent outbreaks.

3. The Outbreak in the US

In 2003, the first monkeypox outbreak outside Africa was noted in the US. It was linked to contact with pet prairie dogs.

Subsequently, travelers from Nigeria carried the virus to Israel and also to the United Kingdom in September 2018 and thereafter on three other occasions. They carried it to Singapore in May 2019 and to the US in July and November 2021.

Before moving on to the next segment, let us know a bit more about the symptoms that can help identify monkeypox.

Monkeypox virus-mode of action

The antiviral CD4+ and CD8+ T cells cannot recognize the MPV infected monocytes. But unlike the cowpox virus, MPV does not downregulate MHC Class I (HLA-A, -B, and -C) and Class II (HLA-DR) on the primary monocytes. The migration from the endoplasmic reticulum is smooth and normal as per a recent study.

Observations suggest an immunomodulatory protein release by the MPVs that enter the cells. Anti-CD3 stimulation will not happen as MPV will inhibit T-cell responses. An early gene product plays a part in this procedure. Cytopathic effects release proteins responsible for T-cell suppression and the virulence of MPV is due to the function of an early protein and not due to a late protein as is the case in many other viruses. If you wish to know how dangerous the MonkeyPox virus is, then you need to read this article for wholesome information and idea.


Symptoms of the Monkeypox virus

Incubation (transmission to the appearance of symptoms) period of monkeypox: 6 to 13 days (range: 5 to 21 days)

If you wish to divide it further, you can divide it into two parts:

  1. Invasion period: It is a period that lasts from 0-5 days and symptoms that characterize the disease involve;
  • Immense headache
  • Nausea
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Intensified asthenia (lack of energy or what people often define as a feeling of weakness)
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Back pain
  • Fever (Pyrexia)

2. The skin pustules appear 1-3 days later and the rashes look very different from the rest of the pox types.

  • It impacts the face (in almost 95% of the cases)
  • Outer extremities like palms of hands and soles of feet (75% of cases)
  • Other impacted regions of the body include the genitals, conjunctiva, cornea and oral mucous membrane.

There are five stages of the lesions that accompany other symptoms in MonkeyPox. If you want to know how dangerous Monkeypox is then you must know that apart from being painful, the lesion stage is the dangerous part and you can sub-divide the lesions into five types:

  • The rash first takes the form of a macule (flat-base lesions)
  • They develop into papules (firmer lesions that are now slightly raised)
  • Vesicles are the next stage (clear fluid-filled lesions)
  • Pustules (Yellowish fluid filled lesions)
  • Crusts (dried lesions that fall off)

Sometimes crusts can join together and can take a larger form. Non-fatal Monkeypox disease can last for 3 weeks after viral exposure. For those who already have flu-like symptoms will surely get the rashes 1-4 days later. Typically contact with an infected person during any of these stages will pass on the virus to other humans. The illness can last anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks.

How does Monkeypox spread?

These are the ways monkeypox spreads:

  1. Monkeypox spreads through direct contact with the patients
  2. Oral, anal and vaginal sex with a person who already has the disease can contract it.
  3. Massaging an infected person, kissing and hugging can also spread the disease.
  4. Touching objects that have been touched or used by monkeypox patients can also lead to the spread of the infection.
  5. Being a zoonotic disease, monkeypox can spread from infected animals.

Tests and treatment of monkeypox virus

Swab testing from the rashes is a way to test monkeypox.

Treatment of monkeypox usually involves the following;

  1. The smallpox vaccine is introduced in patients suffering from the monkeypox virus.

(JYNNEOS and ACAM2000) are the two vaccines.

  • JYNNEOS is a 2-dose vaccine.
  • ACAM2000 is shown to be having more side-effects.

2. Individuals must stay away from the infected individual

3. If there are pets with the disease households must keep them at a great distance.

4.Practice safe sex methods to stay away from MonkeyPox disease.

Distribution & Spread of Vaccination

The US is on high alert and has intimated all the residents. A few of the essential activities taken up by them include;

Essential vaccine eventsImportant Dates
HHS Department JYNNEOS vaccine distribution is confirmed from the Strategic National StockpileSince May 2022
Production of 2.5 million JYNNEOS vaccine vials increased by the US government15th July 2022
FDA issued an order to inject a small dose in the layers of the skin of the forearm like the TB skin test technology to create more dosing than injecting a single dose in the upper arm9th August 2022
Pre-exposure prophylaxis announced by White House28th September 2022

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


What are the two vaccines that can be used for monkeypox treatment?

JYNNEOS & ACAM2000 are two vaccines that have been permitted for use in individuals suffering from the disease and also for pre-prophylaxis treatment.

How much can be the cost of the MonkeyPox vaccine?

The vaccine is administered for free however, providers can charge a program or plan for covering the cost of the MonkeyPox vaccine administration.

What did the FDA announce about the Monkeypox vaccine on 9th August 2022?

An authorization was laid out by FDA for emergency use of the JYNNEOS vaccine in small doses in the forearm skin layers. It will seem similar to the tuberculosis dermal test.

This process of administering the vaccine this way will allow using the vaccine up to five times; yet can create a similar immune response in the individuals who receive it.

Concluding lines

Is Monkeypox dangerous? The extent and intensity of virulence will depend on the strain and the physical condition of the patient. There are two distinct clades of the MonkeyPox virus– the West African (Congo Basin) clade and the Central African clade.

The Congo Basin clade is the more virulent type and has a potentially high rate of transmission. For those of you who have contractible patients around you remember that MonkeyPox can be dangerous if ill-managed. Special precautions are a must for those who are already immunocompromised and old. Other than that the virus might not have any major harm to the individual who contracts it.

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