Canada is facing a new viral threat in the form of monkeypox, because apparently two years of COVID-19 wasn’t enough. sigh
Multiple cases of monkeypox have been reported in the United States and Europe. Seventeen suspected cases are currently being investigated in Montreal, and the first US case involved a man who had recently returned from Montreal.
Right now, the majority of cases are in men in Spain, Portugal, the UK, Italy, Sweden, and the United States.
Monkeypox is rare outside of Africa and is most often transmitted by wild animals to humans. This virus resembles smallpox, which was eradicated in the 1980s by a comprehensive vaccination program.
The virus that causes monkeypox can be spread through the respiratory droplets, sores, or bodily fluids of an infected individual. Unlike with COVID-19, for someone to be seriously affected by monkeypox, prolonged close contact with an infected person would be necessary.Embed from Getty Images
Similar to the flu, typical monkeypox symptoms include muscle aches, chills, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and fatigue. Within a few days, pus-filled lesions similar to chickenpox can appear on the face and body.
It usually runs its course and resolves on its own within two to four weeks, but could prove fatal for up to 10% of those infected.
Vaccination against smallpox, a similar virus, seems to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. Since Canadians born after 1972 were not routinely immunized against smallpox, a large portion of the population remains susceptible to it.
An upper arm scar is usually an indication of prior vaccination against smallpox. Those marks on grandma’s arm are a sign that she contributed to the global effort to eradicate smallpox. Go grandma!Embed from Getty Images
As a result of the low risk of contracting smallpox, the Canadian government does not recommend routine immunization against the virus. This means that smallpox vaccination is highly restricted, and it is usually administered only to those who have direct contact with smallpox or similar viruses.
If you are showing symptoms of monkeypox or have come in contact with anyone infected with the disease, you should immediately isolate yourself and consult a doctor. A DOCTOR, not Facebook.