What is monkey pox?
Monkeypox, or monkeypox in English, is a very unusual disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The virus is related to smallpox.
The disease mainly occurs in West and Central Africa, and cases reported in the rest of the world usually have a travel relationship to the region.
How is it contagious?
The most common mode of transmission is from animal to human, but in rare cases it can also be transmitted between humans.
It is still not clear how the virus spreads, but it is clear that close contact for a longer period of time is required for the virus to spread. Therefore, sexual contact is considered a risk of infection.
What are the symptoms?
Rashes, blisters, and sores on the skin are common symptoms, and are often mild. Fever and swollen lymph nodes also occur.
If the infection is transmitted through sexual contact, blisters can appear around the genitals and around the anus.
The incubation period, which is the period from infection to disease onset, is usually 6 to 13 days, but can range from 5 to 21 days.
Is there a vaccine?
The existing smallpox vaccine also provides up to 85 percent protection against smallpox, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The general vaccination against smallpox ceased in Sweden in 1976 and it is still expected that part of the population who received the smallpox vaccine would have some immunity.
What does serious general illness mean?
When a disease is classified as generally serious, it is covered by the Infection Control Act, which means that detected cases must be reported to regional infection control doctors and the Swedish Public Health Agency for infection tracing, and that the government can take infection control measures if necessary.
Should you be worried?
Several experts spoke to SVT to stress that there is no need to worry. Although the outbreak we are seeing now is unusually large, the risk of infection is low, there are vaccines in place and symptoms have been mild in all of the recently reported cases.
How can the spread of infection be prevented?
If you have symptoms and suspect that you have been in contact with an infected person, you should contact the health care so that they can investigate the chain of infection. Among people, it’s primarily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, so at the moment there might be a point in being a little more careful about having multiple different sexual partners, according to experts SVT spoke to.
What is right and wrong about monkeypox? Listen to Ali Mirazimi find out in the clip above.
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