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NCDC names those at greater risk of monkeypox infection

NCDC Monkeypox Nigerians

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has said household members and health workers are at a greater risk of contracting monkeypox.

The Agency said five days after the virus is contracted, the main symptoms that follow are fever, lymphadenopathy (swelling of lymph nodes), back pain, intense headache, myalgia (muscle ache) and severe asthenia (lack of energy). This is followed bgy small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles), which become pus-filled (pustules).

The NCDC made this known in a statement on its website amid the spread of the virus in the western world.

The statement read in part, “The exact reservoir of monkeypox is still unknown although African rodents are suspected to play a part in transmission. The virus can spread both from animal to human and from human to human with transmission occurring when a person comes into contact with the virus from an infected animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus such as bedclothes. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), the respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth.

“Animal-to-human transmission may occur by direct contact with the blood, body fluids, the skin or mucosal lesions of infected animals (e.g. monkeys, squirrels and rodents). This can happen through a bite, scratch, handling , eating of inadequately cooked infected bushmeat. Limited human-to-human transmission is thought to occur primarily through prolonged face-to-face contact via large respiratory droplets. It can also result from direct contact with the body fluids or skin lesions of an infected person, or objects they have contaminated such as clothing or bed linen. As such, household members or healthcare workers are at greater risk of infection.”

On symptoms, the statement said, “The incubation period of monkeypox is usually between 6 to 16 days but can range from 5 to 21 days. The clinical manifestation of the disease has two phases, with an initial invasive period in the first 5 days, where the main symptoms are fever, lymphadenopathy (swelling of lymph nodes), back pain, intense headache, myalgia (muscle ache) and severe asthenia (lack of energy). A maculopapular rash (skin lesions with a flat bases) appears 1-3 days after the onset of fever, developing into small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles), which become pus-filled (pustules) and then crust over in about 10 days.

“Complete resolution takes up to three weeks. Nearly all patients have face lesions, three quarters have lesions on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet, and 30% have genital involvement. The eyes are involved in most cases, 20% have lesions on the eyelid, with some on the cornea. There are oral mucosa lesions in 70% of cases. Skin lesions can vary widely from a few to up to many thousands, and the lymph node swelling can precede the rash unlike in other Orthopoxvirus infections.

“Monkeypox is usually self-limiting, with symptoms lasting between 2 and 3 weeks. Severe cases occur more commonly among children, who also have greater mortality – the case fatality has ranged from 1% to 10%, higher in Congo Basin cases.”

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