Published 2022-05-20
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First Case Of A New Virus In The US! Is There Need For Panic?

Just as the world seems to be going back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic had started sweeping the globe in 2020, it seems that there had been a new virus that had reached American soil as the first case has been reported. The man who has been infected was traveling from Canada and according to reports is currently in hospital undergoing treatment. But what exactly is this new virus? Is this something that we need to be worried about? And where did it originate from? Read on to find out.

First Case Of The Virus In The USA

The virus in question is Monkeypox and it is currently surging around the world now it seems that the rare virus has found its way inside the US borders. According to reports from CDC, the first case was detected on May 17th, when a man from Massachusetts had tested positive. Media reports had revealed that he had recently traveled to Canada and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has revealed that despite being hospitalized the man is in good condition and that they, along with the CDC, are working on contact tracing. But what exactly is Monkeypox? Read on to find out.

What Is Monkeypox?

The disease is caused by the monkeypox virus which is part of the same family of viruses as chickenpox and smallpox, the latter of which was eradicated in 1980. However, it is less transmissible, causes milder symptoms, and has been reported to be less deadly. It is also rare for cases to appear outside of Africa, and the CDC has reported that naturally, this virus does not appear in the States.

How Is The Virus Spread?

As the name might suggest, monkeypox is transmitted to humans when an infected animal, usually a primate or rodent, bites or scratches a human. Another way that they might infect humans could be by preparing wild game or hunting wild animals. When an individual becomes infected, the disease spreads in various ways, this includes bodily fluids and respiratory droplets in the air during prolonged face-to-face contact.

Symptoms Of Monkeypox

For a person infected with monkeypox, it usually takes between five to 21 days for the first symptoms to appear. These include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, shivering, and exhaustion. On top of this, a rash typically appears between one to five days after a person experiences these symptoms. The rash can at times be confused with chickenpox, due to the fact that it starts as raised spots that turn into small scabs filled with fluid. According to medical reports, the symptoms usually clear up within two to four weeks and scabs fall off.

Is Monkeypox Deadly?

As per the CDC reports, studies have shown in central Africa where people have less access to quality health care, the disease kills as many as one in 10 infected people. However, it was also reported that most patients recover within a few weeks. Though it can be fatal, especially where children and young adults are concerned, as well as immunocompromised individuals who are at risk of severe disease.

Other Monkeypox Cases

So far, there had only been a handful of cases of monkeypox outside of Africa. Those were reported in Britain, Portugal, Spain, and now the U.S. At this moment, transmissions are puzzling experts due to the fact that looking at the UK cases, nine as of May 18th, none of the people have had contact with each other and only the first case that was reported on May 6th had recently traveled to Nigeria. As such, experts have warned of wider transmission if cases have gone unreported. The UK Health Security Agency's alert also highlighted that the recent cases were predominantly among men who self-identified as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men, and advised those groups to be aware.

Why Now?

Now given that the virus has been around for some time people are asking why now has it begun spreading. One possible scenario that some experts have put forward has been the increased travel as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Though they are also keeping an eye on it as new cases could mean mutations and other variants. However, researchers have also urged the public not to panic as this will not cause a nationwide epidemic like COVID did.

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