Dr. GB Sattur explains monkeypox, how it spreads, symptoms, risk factors and treatment


As COVID-19 seems to settle, monkeypox has made its nasty appearance in many countries. India has reported 9 cases already. India’s first case of monkeypox, a rare but potentially serious viral illness, was reported from Kerala’s Kollam district on July 14, and the patient was discharged from the hospital last week.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a zoonotic virus, which means it spreads from animals to humans. But people can transmit it to each other, too. The symptoms include rash, fever, chills, body aches, fatigue, headache, and respiratory symptoms, such as a sore throat, cough, and nasal congestion, as well as swollen lymph nodes.


A rash may be seen on or near the genitals or anus (butt hole), but could also be present on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy. Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1–4 days later.

How the virus spreads?

Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact and body fluids like semen.


There are no specific treatments for monkeypox virus infections. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, so antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections. Antiviral drugs may be used for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems. Possible serious complications from monkeypox include secondary infections like brain infections and pneumonia.

However, there is no need to panic as of now, but one must report in time if they spot any symptoms.

Covid and Heart Complications Dr GB Sattur
About the author: Dr GB Sattur, MD, MRCP (UK), FICC, is a well-known physician, and a renowned diabetologist. He practices at Sattur Medical Care, Pinto Road, Hubballi.

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