The smallpox epidemic, which has occurred in many regions in recent weeks, especially in European countries, has intensified its effects. British experts have answered questions about the smallpox virus, which first appeared in Africa and has spread to America, Europe and Australia in recent weeks.
Following the coronavirus, which killed 6.5 million people worldwide, this time there was a fear of the chickenpox virus. In fact, the scenario is very well known. The mysterious virus is starting to spread, the public is worried and scientists are looking for answers …
While the monkey pox virus, which has so far been seen in 20 countries, has raised concerns, researchers have answered curious questions. Could the smallpox epidemic turn into a pandemic? Are we facing a new case of coronavirus? How much should we be afraid? Who is most at risk?
Experts from the British Health Safety Agency (NHS) answered curious questions.
THE MOST VULNERABLE GROUP ANNOUNCED
The NHS said the risk to the general population was low, but “We ask people to be alert to any new rash or lesions that may appear as spots, ulcers or blisters anywhere on their body.” warned.
Experts stressed that the smallpox virus mainly affects people with weak immune systems, and also described very old and very young people as a “vulnerable” group.
So can chickenpox be the new coronavirus? Experts say that smallpox, like the virus that causes Covid-19, has spread from animals to humans. But that’s the only similarity between the two viruses. First, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid, was new. No one and nowhere was immune in advance. But the monkey pox virus is not new. It was first described by Danish scientists in the late 1950s, when the monkeys they studied developed a smallpox-like disease. However, despite the name of the virus, the primary vectors are not monkeys, but rodents such as mice and squirrels have been reported.
HOW IS VIRUS TRANSMITTED?
It has been reported that the monkeypox virus can be transmitted to humans by rodent bites or contact with blood, body fluids or skin blisters caused by the virus. It has been emphasized that when someone is infected, the virus can spread to other people through close physical contact. In addition, the virus has been reported to spread by coughing or sneezing due to its presence in saliva.
So is the smallpox virus a sexually transmitted disease? According to scientists, the answer is simply no. Sexual contact is not considered the first mode of transmission of the virus. For example, there is currently no evidence that HIV is transmitted by sperm or vaginal fluids. However, skin-to-skin contact during sexual intercourse can cause transmission if one of the partners has monkey pox lesions.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
So what are the symptoms of the disease? The smallpox virus initially causes an influenza-like effect. The most common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes (glands in the neck, groin or under the arm) and tiredness. Within one to five days, the rash appears, usually first on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body, including the genitals.
The rash is similar to chickenpox. It starts as raised dots that turn into small, fluid-filled blisters. These bubbles turn into crusts, which eventually fall off.
HOW TO FIND OUT? HOW IS THE TREATMENT PROCESS?
So how is the monkeypox virus detected and how should the recovery process take place?
If a person is suspected of having smallpox, the person should be tested by PCR, as in the Covid-19 process. There is no specific treatment and the NHS currently advises patients to stay at home until they recover if the symptoms are mild.
If the disease is more severe, give patients antiviral drugs; Treatment, including Tecovirimat and Cidofovir for smallpox, may be recommended.
IS MONO VIRUS POLO FATAL?
There are two species of monkeypox and circulating West African species are known to be less virulent. The Central African or Congo Basin variant is more dangerous.
People with a weakened immune system, young children, pregnant women and the elderly are more at risk.
Severe monkeypox can lead to pneumonia, severe lung and sepsis, a potentially fatal immune response, brain swelling and loss of vision due to corneal damage, a clear lens in the front of the eye.
IS IT DANGEROUS FOR CHILDREN?
So is the smallpox virus dangerous for children?
Based on the very limited information available, the answer is yes. The World Health Organization said that if children became infected, they could be more at risk because it could damage their less protected immune system. Experts noted that the most common cases of smallpox in Africa were observed in children, and it was emphasized that this situation was mainly due to children playing with rodents in the region.
ARE TRANSPORT VEHICLES RISK?
Is it possible to catch smallpox virus in vehicles such as airplanes, buses, trains?
The answer is yes. According to experts, sitting right next to or within one meter of a person with a smallpox virus on a plane or bus is one of the scenarios that individuals are at medium risk of exposure to the virus. However, experts stressed that people sitting outside the 1 meter limit, ie three rows on the side or back of the plane, are “low risk”. It was also stated that no precautionary measures were recommended for these people as long as they remained asymptomatic.