Philadelphia health officials are investigating a second possible case of monkeypox

Digitally colored electron microscope (EM) image depicting a monkey measles virion (viral particle), published June 6, 2022 (Photo by Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images)

Philadelphia health officials are investigating the second possible case of monkeypox in the city after a resident tested positive for orthopoxvirus.

The Philadelphia Ministry of Health said Wednesday that the Philadelphia resident was seen in a clinic outside the city and no connection is currently known between the probable case and the first case of monkeypox in the city.

The health department was informed of the probable case on Tuesday morning, according to a report. Because the resident was tested outside the city, the Pennsylvania Department of Health coordinated the report and testing.

Officials said the resident was working with the health department to identify any contacts who may have been exposed. The health department will contact these people directly, according to a statement.

The health department stressed that the risk of contracting monkeypox remains “extremely low”. Philadelphia Department of Public Health Program Manager for Acute Infectious Diseases Dana Perela said that monkeypox is “much less contagious than COVID-19 and is manageable, especially when timely help for symptoms is sought.”

Monkeypox? What is?

According to officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smallpox is caused by a virus that is the same type of virus that causes smallpox.

According to the CDC, monkeypox was first discovered in 1958, after two outbreaks of measles-like disease in colonies of monkeys that were kept for testing.

The first case of the disease in humans was reported in a country known today as the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, during a period of intensified efforts to eradicate smallpox. The disease has since been reported in people in several Central and West African countries. Cases have also been reported in the United States, as well as in a number of Asian, Middle Eastern and European countries.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

According to the CDC website, it usually takes seven to 14 days from the time of infection for a person to begin to experience symptoms of the disease, but the incubation period can also vary from five to 21 days.

The disease, according to the CDC, begins with:

  • Fever
  • headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Back pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • chills
  • Exhaustion

CDC officials say that within one to three days after the onset of fever, the infected person will develop a rash, often starting on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash will eventually dry out and fall off.

According to the World Health Organization, the symptoms of monkeypox usually last two to four weeks.

Can humans die from monkeypox?

According to the WHO, the mortality rate from monkeypox varies between zero and 11% in the general population. The percentage is higher among young children.

How is it spread?

CDC officials say monkeypox is spread when a person comes in contact with the virus from an animal, human or material infected with the virus.

“The virus enters the body through injured skin (even if not visible), airways or mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth),” the website said.

The CDC website states that human-to-human transmission of monkeypox is thought to occur mainly through large respiratory droplets, but other human-to-human transmission includes direct contact with body fluids or lesion material and indirect contact with material from the lesion, such as contaminated clothing or bedding. “

How did you get to the United States?

According to Massachusetts health officials, the monkey measles case in the state involves an elderly man who recently traveled to Canada. Since then, monkeypox has been found in ten US states, including Pennsylvania.

In Portugal, officials from the country’s General Directorate of Health said they were investigating 15 suspected cases of monkeypox, all of which were identified in May in the area around Lisbon.

Britain, meanwhile, has previously reported three cases of monkeypox, two involving people living in the same household and the third involving someone who has traveled to Nigeria.

Have we seen cases of monkeypox in the United States before?

According to the CDC, the first case of monkeypox in the United States occurred in 2003, when 47 confirmed and probable cases were reported from six states: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“All the people infected with monkeypox in this epidemic became ill after contact with domestic prairie dogs. The pets were infected after being placed near imported small mammals from Ghana,” the website said.

According to officials, investigators later found that a shipment of animals from Ghana to Texas in April 2003 led to the spread of monkeypox in the United States.

Since the 2003 outbreak in 2021, two cases of human monkeypox have been reported. In both cases, the infected person came to the United States from Nigeria.

CDC officials say monkeypox is not found naturally in the United States

What can I do to prevent getting monkeypox?

CDC staff have the following tips for people to prevent monkeypox infection. They include:

  • Avoid contact with animals that may carry the virus, including animals that are sick or animals that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs
  • Avoid contact with any materials such as bedding that have been in contact with a sick animal
  • Isolate those who have been infected from others who may be at risk of infection
  • Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or people, such as washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

Are there any treatments for monkeypox?

CDC officials say there is currently no proven safe treatment for monkeypox.

Is there a vaccine against monkeypox?

Yes.

According to the CDC, a vaccine called Jynneos, also known as Imvamune or Imvanex, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent monkeypox.

According to the website of the military health system, Jynneos was approved by the FDA in September 2019. In a statement issued by Bavarian Nordic, the vaccine is based on a virus that is unable to replicate in the human body, but can still trigger immune response.

However, WHO officials said the vaccine was not widely available.

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