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Monkeypox virus

Monkeypox virus is a double-stranded DNA virus with envelope. It belongs to the family Poxviridae and the genus Orthopoxvirus, to which also belong the smallpox virus, the vaccinia virus or the bovine smallpox among others. Monkeypox virus was initially identified in monkeys and can be found primarily in rodents, chipmunks, tree squirrels, Gambian rats, African dwarf lirons, non-human primates and some other species.

There are two clades, the Central African clade (Congo) and the West African clade.

Clinical features: Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (disease caused by viruses transmitted from animals to people). It is transmitted by direct contact with blood, body fluids or lesions of the skin or mucous membranes of infected animals.

Human-to-human transmission can occur through close contact with airway secretions or skin lesions from an infected person, or with recently contaminated objects. Transmission can also occur through the placenta from mother to fetus (which can lead to cases of congenital monkeypox) or by close contact during and after birth.

Clinical signs of monkeypox are usually fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes, and it can lead to a variety of medical complications. It has an incubation period between 6 and 13 days, although it can vary between 5 and 21 days.

Diagnosis: A medical evaluation is required where the elements that differentiate this disease from other exanthematical diseases such as chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, syphilis and drug allergies must be taken into account.

In a case of suspicion, you should obtain a sample for analysis in the laboratory. In this sense, RT-PCR is usually the technique of choice since due to cross-reactions in the Poxviridae family, the detection of Ags and / or antibodies is not decisive to confirm monkeypox.

Tratamiento: Liquids and food should be offered to patients to maintain a state of proper nutrition.

The efficacy of smallpox vaccination in preventing monkeypox is about 85%. Therefore, previous vaccination against smallpox can make the disease milder.


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