Film: Understanding Monkeypox
Abstract: Monkeypox is an exotic infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. The disease was first identified in laboratory monkeys, hence its name, but in its natural state it seems to infectrodents more often than primates. The disease is most prevalent in Central and West Africa, but an outbreak occurred also in the United States in 2003.
Human monkeypox is a zoonotic viral disease that occurs primarily in remote villages of Central and West Africa in proximity to tropical rainforests where there is more frequent contact with infected animals. Monkeypox is usually transmitted to humans from rodents, pets, and primates through contact with the animal's blood or through a bite. Human monkeypox can be difficult to distinguish clinically from smallpox (to which it is closely related) and chickenpox (to which it is not).
In addition to monkeys, giant pouched rats (Cricetomys sp.), dormice (Graphiurus sp.) and African squirrels (Heliosciurus, Funisciurus) have all been implicated as reservoirs of the virus. The use of these animals as food may be an important source of transmission to humans.
Monkeypox as a disease in humans was first associated with an illness in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), in the town of Basankusu, Équateur Province, in 1970. A second outbreak of human illness was identified inDRC/Zaire in 1996–1997. In 2003, a small outbreak of human monkeypox in the United States occurred among owners of pet prairie dogs. The outbreak originated from Villa Park, Illinois, outside of Chicago, when a exotic animal dealer kept young prairie dogs in close proximity to an infected Gambian pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus) recently imported from West Africa. Seventy-three people were reportedly infected, of which there were no fatalities.
A second African focus of infection has been discovered in Sudan. No infected patients died.
Monkeypox Disease in Animals
The symptoms of a sick animal include: listlessness, ocular and nasal discharges, frequent vomiting, coughing, hair loss sometimes accompanied by painful scabs, and pneumonia. Look for nodules similar to mosquito bites and inflammation of the lymph glands.
Monkeypox Disease in Humans
Symptoms and Course
In humans, monkeypox is similar to smallpox, although it is often milder. Vaccination against smallpox is assumed to provide protection against human monkeypox infection considering they are closely related viruses and the vaccine protects animals from experimental lethal monkeypox challenge. This has not been conclusively demonstrated in humans because routine smallpox vaccination was discontinued following the apparent eradication of smallpox and due to safety concerns with the vaccine. Limited person-to-person spread of infection has been reported in disease-endemic areas in Africa. Case-fatality ratios in Africa have ranged from 1% to 10%.
Prevention and Treatment
Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox. Smallpox vaccine has been reported to reduce the risk of monkeypox among previously vaccinated persons in Africa. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) recommends that persons investigating monkeypox outbreaks and involved in caring for infected individuals or animals should receive a smallpox vaccination to protect against monkeypox. Persons who have had close or intimate contact with individuals or animals confirmed to have monkeypox should also be vaccinated. The people who have been infected can be vaccinated up to 14 days after exposure. CDC does not recommend preexposure vaccination for unexposed veterinarians, veterinary staff, or animal control officers, unless such persons are involved in field investigations.
This film, produced by INCEF for distribution in communities prone to infection, describes the nature of the illness and how best to confront it.
2003 U.S. Outbreak
Through June 18, 2003, 93 cases of monkeypox in the United States occurred in Wisconsin (44 cases), Indiana (24), Illinois (19), Ohio (4), Kansas (1), Missouri (1), and New Jersey (1). Analysis of the first 53 cases showed 50 had contact withprairie dogs that were purchased from Phil's Pocket Pets of Villa Park, Illinois. Electron microscopy and serologic studies were used to confirm that the disease was human monkeypox.
The onset of the illness among the patients in the United States began in early May 2003. Patients typically experienced a prodrome consisting of fever, headaches, myalgias, chills, and drenching sweats. Roughly one-third of patients had nonproductive coughs. This prodromal phase was followed 1–10 days later by the development of a papular rash that typically progressed through stages of vesiculation, pustulation, umbilication, and crusting. In some patients, early lesions had become ulcerated. Rash distribution and lesions occurred on head, trunk, and extremities; many of the patients had initial and satellite lesions on palms, soles, and extremities. Rashes were generalized in some patients. After onset of the rash, patients generally manifested rash lesions in different stages. All patients reported direct or close contact with prairie dogs, most of which were sick. Illness in prairie dogs was frequently reported as beginning with a blepharoconjunctivitis, progressing to presence of nodular lesions in some cases. Some prairie dogs died from the illness, while others reportedly recovered (Wikipedia, 2012).
Title: Delta Flight Delayed Over Monkeypox Fears
Date: April 28, 2012
Abstract: For passengers on Delta Flight 3163, it felt like something out of a Hollywood movie: a passenger with an unknown rash, members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigating the scene and the use of the word “quarantine” while the plane remained on the tarmac.
This is exactly what happened at Chicago’s Midway Airport Thursday as the flight from Detroit to Chicago was quarantined for nearly three hours because a woman returning from Uganda had a suspicious rash on her body.
Unlike it’s eradicated cousin smallpox, which is strictly a human disease, monkeypox not only spreads from animal to animal but also from animals to humans.
is a relatively rare virus found primarily in central and western Africa. The disease is caused by Monkeypox virus. It is closely related to the smallpox virus (variola), the virus used in the smallpox vaccine (vaccinia), and the cowpox virus.
Infection with monkeypox is not as serious as its cousin, smallpox, however human deaths have been attributed to monkeypox.
According to the CDC, the symptoms of monkeypox are as follows: About 12 days after people are infected with the virus, they will get a fever, headache, muscle aches, and backache; their lymph nodes will swell; and they will feel tired. One to 3 days (or longer) after the fever starts, they will get a rash. This rash develops into raised bumps filled with fluid and often starts on the face and spreads, but it can start on other parts of the body too. The bumps go through several stages before they get crusty, scab over, and fall off. The illness usually lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.
People at risk for monkeypox are those who are bitten by an infected animal or if you have contact with the animal’s rash, blood or body fluids. It can also be transmitted person to person through respiratory or direct contact and contact with contaminated bedding or clothing.
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox (Examiner, 2012).