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  • Dr Ali A Nejat

Monkeypox in VIC


In 1958, monkeypox was first identified as a viral outbreak in domesticated primates.

The first human case of the monkeypox virus was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. (formerly Zaire). The majority of sporadic illness outbreaks in Africa have been linked to interaction with wildlife carriers (particularly rodents). Because of the minimal secondary spread of such epidemics and travel-related cases outside of Africa, it has been determined that human-to-human transmission is ineffective. Although the monkeypox virus has been present in areas where it has historically been common for decades, research into the disease has been neglected and underfunded. The World Health Organization declared monkeypox an "evolving danger of moderate public health concern" on June 23, 2022, after more than 3000 monkeypox virus infections were detected in more than 50 nations across five regions since early May 2022.



There were 21 cases of monkeypox reported in Victoria as of August 3, 2022. To stop the further spread in the community, the Health Department actively monitors cases and contacts.


Through skin-to-skin contact, coming into contact with contaminated objects or surfaces, and respiratory droplets, monkeypox can be transferred from one person to another.

Australia is seeing local transmission, so anyone exhibiting symptoms that could be related to monkeypox should consult a doctor.

It's crucial to remember that monkeypox can infect anyone who has extended contact with a monkeypox-infected person, even though the present outbreak has disproportionately affected men who have intercourse with other men.

To stop the further spread in the community, the Health Department actively monitors cases and contacts.


As smallpox immunity declines, coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) prevention measures are relaxed, international travel is resumed, and sexual interactions at large gatherings resume, the current global outbreak of monkeypox virus infection in humans suggests changes in the biological aspects of the virus or changes in human behaviour, or both. To date, the dissemination has disproportionately affected heterosexual, gay, and bisexual men as well as other men who have sex with men, which shows that sexual networks have amplified the spread.


According to Victorian law, monkeypox is an urgent condition that must be reported.




Symptoms:


Rash, fever, chills, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes, and tiredness are some of the signs of monkeypox. In the current outbreak, lesions frequently start in the vaginal or anal areas, and may or may not be accompanied by fever or swollen lymph nodes. Some cases include proctitis or urethritis (presenting with pain in urinating, rectal pain, blood in stools, and diarrhea). The rash can arise on the body, face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and inside the mouth. It may include vesicles, pustules, pimples, or ulcers. The rash develops in stages, much like chickenpox, and has a variable number of lesions before creating a scab that peels off.


Skin-to-skin contact, coming into contact with contaminated objects or surfaces, and breathing droplets can all result in the transmission of monkeypox from one person to another.


Monkeypox patients are contagious from the moment they experience their first symptoms, which could include a fever or rash, until the rash lesions crust over, dry up, or fall off.



What to do:


Anyone experiencing symptoms is advised to seek medical attention, put on a mask, and book an appointment in advance to ensure they can isolate away from other people.


Avoid getting too close to somebody who has been diagnosed with monkeypox. It's crucial to practice good hygiene, which includes donning masks and cleaning your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.



Monkeypox patients are contagious from the moment they experience their first symptoms, which could include a fever or rash, until the rash lesions crust over, dry up, or fall off.


Following a risk-benefit analysis within 4 days of exposure, vaccination with the smallpox vaccine or other post-exposure prophylaxis (such as vaccinia immunoglobulin) may be recommended for susceptible high-risk contacts, if there are no contraindications. There isn't a pre-travel vaccine available right now.


Contacts of confirmed cases will be followed up with by the department, which will urge them to keep an eye out for symptoms for 21 days. Depending on the degree of exposure risk in the instance, additional precautionary actions may be advised.


In most cases, monkeypox is a mild sickness, and recovery takes a few weeks. Monkeypox is mostly treated with supportive care.


An infectious disease physician should be consulted for guidance on clinical management, including antiviral therapy.


The prevention of disease transmission through isolation is successful. Confirmed cases should remain sedated until all lesions have crusted, all scabs have peeled off, and a new skin layer has grown underneath.


Those who are being tested for monkeypox should separate themselves while they wait for the results.


The Department of Health will offer case-specific guidance regarding the necessity of isolation and preventative measures.





If you experience similar symptoms please make a Telehealth appointment to discuss with our doctors. We need to request approval from Health Department before the Monkeypox test.


Please share this post to increase awareness about Monkeypox.


Please leave your comments. We would love to hear back from you.



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