Monkeypox: What is it? Is it easy to catch?

Monkeypox cases increase globally

Originated in Africa, monkeypox has taken over headlines in all newspapers

Instances of the monkeypox infection have been jumping up in the US and western Europe. They have been accounted for in London, Madrid, Lisbon, Rome and Stockholm. Four cases have been recently reported in the UAE.

Usually the cases are linked to people who have recently travelled to Africa, where the virus is much more prevalent.

What is it?

It is a viral infection that is typically found in western and central Africa, making the new cases a strange anomaly.

Cases are similar to the early symptoms of Covid-19 but with a major distinction of rashes. Generally symptoms are gone within four weeks.

Is it deadly?

There are two strains of the virus. One, the West African strain, has a 1 percent fatality rate. The second, from the Congo, has a fatality rate of 10 percent.

Is it easy to catch?

It is possible to contract the disease from a person, though it was thought to be quite difficult to do so. It is far more common to catch monkeypox from an infected animal. This is usually through a bite or touching its bodily fluids.

Between humans it is possible to contract the virus through

  • Touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash.
  • Touching monkeypox skin blisters or scabs.
  • The coughs or sneezes of a person with the monkeypox rash.


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