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Monkeypox:  What the Future Holds, Cause and Prevention


MEDICAL WATCH - By now, everyone has heard about monkeypox, which is now in numerous countries.

It is an illness that may be the new pandemic. But is this really the beginning of a new pandemic, or are people still living in fear because of the real pandemic we are currently experiencing? There’s no reason for people to be concerned about monkeypox, as it isn’t as perilous as people may think.

Not only is this a common disease in certain countries, but it also isn’t life-threatening. It won’t suddenly turn into a pandemic in the manner netizens everywhere are fearing. Let’s absorb everything you need to know about monkeypox so that you can understand why this is an illness people everywhere are restless about.

What is Monkeypox?

One thing is clear: there are substantial differences between monkeypox and the pandemic we are currently experiencing. COVID was unknown and could be considered deadly, especially in 2020. However, monkeypox isn’t deadly and even if it can’t be treated, there are ways to handle the symptoms. It’s a disease that was first unearthed in 1958.

Monkeypox is rare and it’s caused by the monkeypox virus. It starts with flu-like symptoms along with a rash. It is similar to the better-known virus that causes smallpox, and this is why people are so worried about it. Many are still living with COVID and are afraid that another pandemic might strike the world, but it won’t and there are many explanations as to why.

The Discovery of Monkeypox

Monkeypox was discovered previously in 1958. If it was a serious disease, it would have amalgamated into a pandemic when it was first discovered. The disease doesn’t originate from monkeys, contrary to popular belief. At the moment, scientists suspect that the disease derives from small rodents and squirrels in Africa.

There are two strains of the virus. One can be found in Central Africa and the other in West Africa, with the Central African strain being more severe. But rest assured, it doesn’t spread as easily as COVID.

The Spread and Prevention of Monkeypox

The monkeypox virus isn’t spread the same way as the coronavirus behind COVID-19, and this is why you shouldn’t be overly concerned about it. It is only unfurled onto others when you come into contact with an animal or human who is infected. It only gets transmitted through broken skin, blood, bodily fluids, or pox lesions. So, as long as you don’t touch the infected person, you won’t contract the virus. This is why it’s considered a rare occurrence and why it won’t ever become a pandemic.

Prevention is actually easier than the COVID pandemic we are currently living in. You need to avoid contact with infected animals, such as sick or dead ones. You should also avoid contact with any materials used by an infected person, such as clothing, bedding, towels, and anything they might have touched. Washing your hands after coming into contact with animals or infected persons is what you’ll need to keep in mind.

There’s arguably nothing to worry about when it comes to monkeypox, as far as global medical crises are concerned. As shown in this article, this isn’t a newfangled disease, and there is already research in progress to formulate a vaccine. Unlike smallpox, you can only contract the disease by direct contact with an animal infected by the virus or by an infected individual. If you are still living with COVID restrictions and continue to keep social distancing in mind, you won’t have any major issues related to getting infected by monkeypox. It isn’t really a super-pandemic in waiting, and so there’s no cause for pervasive panic.  

(Naheed Ali, MD, PhD, is a freelance medical journalist at HealthcarePropulsion.com and a contributor to CityWatch.)

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