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What is Monkeypox Virus (MPXV)
A new zoonotic illness called monkeypox (MPX) is brought on by the monkeypox virus (MPXV), which belongs to the family Poxviridae's Orthopoxvirus genus. Monkeypox symptoms include a rash, fever, and swelling of the lymph nodes. Additionally, patients may experience a variety of side effects, such as secondary bacterial infections, respiratory problems, bronchopneumonia, gastrointestinal problems, dehydration, sepsis, encephalitis, and corneal infections with subsequent vision loss. No specific treatment for a monkeypox virus infection currently exists.
Monkeypox virus (MPXV) which causes monkeypox in humans and other animals is a type of double-stranded DNA virus. It is a member of the family Poxviridae and the genus Orthopoxvirus. And it is one of the human orthopoxviruses that includes variola (VARV), cowpox (CPX), and vaccinia (VACV) viruses. Monkeypox can infect a diverse array of mammalian species according to taxonomy, however the actual native host is unknown. Only twice has the virus been isolated from a wild animal, once from a sooty mangabey in Ivory Coast and once from a rope squirrel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Saliva, respiratory excretions, or contact with lesion exudate or crust material are thought to be the main routes of transmission. Another exposure route can be viral shedding through feces.
Headache, aches in the muscles, fever, and exhaustion are some of the early signs. It could initially seem like the flu. Swollen glands are a defining feature of the illness, which might resemble chickenpox, measles, or smallpox. Before the rash develops, these typically start to emerge behind the ear, below the jaw, in the neck, or in the groin. Lesions typically start on the face after a few days of the fever before spreading centrifugally to other areas such the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In the 2022 monkeypox outbreak, several individuals also had fever, swollen lymph nodes, vaginal and peri-anal lesions, and swallowing difficulty.
Epidemiology of Monkeypox
The monkeypox virus has been classified into two genetic clades, the West African clade and the Central African clade. Geographically distinct from one another, these two clades have distinct epidemiological and clinical characteristics. The case fatality rate (CFR) for the West African clade is less than 1%, and no human-to-human transmission has ever been seen. The Congo Basin clade, also known as the Central African clade, contrasts this with recorded human-to-human transmission occurring up to six times consecutively and showing a CFR of up to 11%.
Kozlov, M. Monkeypox goes global: why scientists are on alert. Nature. 2022, 606(7912): 15-16.