Popular science: There is no need to panic when dealing with monkeypox, and measures can be taken to stop the spread

    Australia's New South Wales state health department confirmed Australia's first case of monkeypox on the 20th. Experts in Australia said that although the spread of monkeypox needs to be closely monitored, there is no need to panic. Unlike SARS-CoV-2, more understanding of poxviruses such as monkeypox and smallpox allows quick measures to be taken to interrupt transmission.
    What is monkeypox
    Suresh Mahalingam, a professor at Griffith University in Australia, said monkeypox is a self-limiting disease and most people recover within two to three weeks after they develop symptoms. However, monkeypox infection poses a greater risk to pregnant women because infection in pregnant women may affect fetal development.
    According to Sanjaya Senanayake, an epidemiologist at the Australian National University, the monkeypox virus in the cases found in Europe is relatively mild. After an incubation period of seven to 17 days, monkeypox patients develop flu-like symptoms, followed by a high fever for a few days and a rash. The rash is widespread and can last up to about 4 weeks. Patients may also develop symptoms such as pneumonia and diarrhea, but the mortality rate is very low.
    Is monkeypox dangerous?
    Fasli Coulibaly, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at Monash University in Australia, said authorities needed to monitor the spread of monkeypox closely, but there was no need to panic. On the one hand, such viruses are not as transmissible as respiratory viruses such as the new coronavirus and influenza virus. Humans, on the other hand, are no strangers to monkeypox viruses. It has been known to infect humans since the 1970s, and people know how to fight closely related viruses, such as smallpox.
    Coulibaly believes that although poxviruses are good at breaking through the host's defense system, they are like "elephant in the virus world" whose structure and ability to replicate make it easier to "target". Decades of basic human research The vulnerability of this virus has been found and it is fully prepared for possible threats. Humans have developed drugs and a new generation of vaccines against the smallpox virus, which also provide options for dealing with monkeypox.
    Actions can be taken
    David Chalk, a professor at the Australian National University, believes this time is a little unusual because most monkeypox cases are not linked, meaning vigilance is needed around the world. But unlike Covid-19, more knowledge about poxviruses allows quick steps to be taken to interrupt transmission. The monkeypox virus belongs to a broader virus family that also includes the smallpox virus. Smallpox vaccine can be used to prevent monkeypox. Studies have shown that smallpox vaccination is still effective after exposure to monkeypox virus.
    Raina McIntyre, an infectious disease scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said her research showed that the decline in the immune protection of the smallpox vaccine may be the cause of the 40 to 50 years since the mass cessation of the smallpox vaccine. The reason for the exacerbation of acne outbreaks. She advised authorities to identify contacts associated with monkeypox patients and vaccinate them against monkeypox.
    Senanayake noted that the smallpox vaccine could provide cross-protection, but it's uncertain how immune people who received the smallpox vaccine decades ago would still be against monkeypox. Some antiviral drugs are available to treat monkeypox.


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