LAHORE – Health authorities in Punjab’s capital on Sunday said they were investigating two suspected cases of monkeypox in the metropolis, likely adding the Punjab region to the list that is reporting recent infections of the contagious virus.
Both the suspected patients have developed symptoms of monkeypox and are under isolation and treatment. One of the patients also suffered from skin rash and enlarged blisters.
The suspected patients will undergo a PCR test for confirmation of the virus, while close contacts of both patients will be traced to curb the spread.
The current outbreak has raised alarms in South Asian nation and prompted officials to beef up their surveillance efforts, as the recent diagnosis indicates that the monkeypox virus has been spreading undetected.
Authorities are closely monitoring the situation and isolation wards have also been established at several government hospitals.
The virus that causes monkeypox is mainly spread from animals to people and it is a member of the ‘Poxvirus’ family of viruses, which has 83 virus species in all and is further subdivided into 2 subfamilies with 22 species each.
Smallpox, one of the viruses in the aforementioned family, is also referred to as its cousin due to the similarity of the symptoms between it and monkeypox.
It should be noted that although the World Health Organisation now refers to the disease as “Mpox,” it is still commonly known as “monkeypox.”
In 1958, a smallpox-like illness spread among groups of monkeys used for study, leading to the discovery of monkeypox.
The monkeypox virus comes in two varieties: Central African and West African. Compared to the West African monkeypox virus, the Central African monkeypox virus results in more severe illnesses and fatalities.
Flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, muscle aches, and lethargy that might last a day or two are typically the first signs of monkeypox.
The rash begins one to three days after the fever, and after a few days it spreads to little areas of red skin all over the body.
After some time, they could develop into blisters that eventually filled a whitish fluid. Due to the rash’s resemblance to chicken pox and the fact that it normally goes away on its own after a few weeks, monkeypox is typically not considered dangerous. However, it can occasionally be severe, and deaths in West Africa have been documented.
Source : Daily Pakistan