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Even as the world reels from the severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has now sounded the alarm bell over a new viral disease, monkeypox, which is spreading rapidly and wreaking havoc around the world.
As at 5 PM EDT on on August 3, as many as 26,208 confirmed cases of monkeypox had been reported in 87 countries, according to data available on cdc.gov. With non-endemic countries reporting a rampant spike in the number of monkeypox cases, WHO on July 24, 2022, declared monkeypox a global health emergency. India has reported 9 cases of monkeypox and one virus-related death.
According to who.int, monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease which occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and western Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions. It is considered a self-limiting disease and is transmitted to humans through close contact with infected persons or animals.
As more and more studies continue to come out regarding monkeypox, there has been a fear among people. They are now wondering if there is any similarity between the Covid pandemic and monkeypox and what is the difference between the two. Let's answer some of the frequently asked questions on monkeypox and Covid-19:
How are monkeypox and Covid-19 caused?
While the coronavirus or Covid-19 is caused by acute respiratory syndrome, monkeypox is usually associated with the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. Covid-19 contains a single strand of genetic material, which is also known as RNA, whereas monkeypox carries a double-stranded genetic code in DNA.
How do Monkeypox and Covid-19 spread?
Monkeypox is usually said to spread and circulate among wild animals of central and western Africa and can be transferred to humans when they eat or come in close contact with infected animals. Covid-19, on the other hand, can spread from an infected person to a healthy individual through small droplets from the nose or mouth; these are ejected when a person coughs or exhales.
Monkeypox symptoms vs Covid-19 symptoms
According to reports, the most common Covid-19 symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, fatigue, runny nose, joint pain, headache, shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of sense of smell and taste and gastrointestinal issues. The symptoms of monkeypox, on the other hand, are similar to those of smallpox. These include fever, rashes and swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms usually last between 2 and 4 weeks.
Monkeypox vaccine vs Covid-19 vaccine
According to a report on uhhospitals.org, we already have a vaccine for monkeypox. The smallpox vaccine or a newer smallpox/monkeypox vaccine that came out in 2019 can prevent the disease in a person who has been exposed or who is at the risk of being exposed, such as a caregiver or household contact. Coronavirus, on the other hand, was a novel disease which required the development of a new vaccine.
First Published: Thu, August 04 2022. 20:41 IST