Monkeypox spreads only through monkeys? 6 myths about the infection busted
New Delhi, May 27: The World Health Organisation has said that there are nearly 200 confirmed monkeypox cases reported in over 20 countries. It has described the epidemic as "containable" and proposed creating a stockpile to equitably share the limited vaccines and drugs available worldwide.
The spread of the infection has raised concerns as the world is still recovering from the Covid-19 blow. However, there are many myths associated with monkeypox and here we are busting it:
Does Monkeypox require mass vaccination like Covid-19
As per Dr Rosamund Lewis, head of WHO's smallpox department, "there is no need for mass vaccination." It is because it does not spread easily and typically requires skin-to-skin contact for transmission. No vaccines have been specifically developed against monkeypox, but WHO estimates that smallpox vaccines are about 85% effective.
Monkeypox spreads only through monkeys
The disease is called monkeypox because it was first identified in colonies of monkeys and kept for research in 1958. It was only later detected in humans in 1970.
Monkeypox can spread to people when they come into physical contact with an infected animal. Animal hosts include rodents and primates. It will spread from person to person. You can catch monkeypox through close physical contact with someone who has symptoms. The rash, bodily fluids (such as fluid, pus or blood from skin lesions) and scabs are particularly infectious. Clothing, bedding, towels or objects like eating utensils/dishes that have been contaminated with the virus from contact with an infected person can also infect others.
Monkeypox Spreads only through sex
The risk of becoming infected with monkeypox is not limited to people who are sexually active or men who have sex with men. Anyone who has close physical contact with someone who is infectious is at risk. It is currently not known whether monkeypox can be spread through sexual transmission routes (e.g., through semen or vaginal fluids), but direct skin-to-skin contact with lesions during sexual activities can spread the virus.
Eating meat causes monkeypox
Simply by eating meat you will not be infected by monkeypox. However, one can catch it by eating meat from an infected animal that has not been cooked thoroughly, or by touching other products from infected animals (such as animal skin or fur).
Monkeypox Contagious like Covid
Monkeypox is not as contagious or severe as COVID. However, its spread is a matter of concern. No suspect cases have been reported in India so far," Dr NK Arora, Chairperson of the Covid working group, NTAGI, said.
Monkeypox Affects only Gay or Bisexual
The risk of monkeypox is not limited to people who are sexually active or men who have sex with men. Anyone who has close physical contact with someone who is infectious is at risk. The reason we are currently hearing more reports of cases of monkeypox in communities of men who have sex with men may be because of positive health seeking behaviour in this demographic, WHO said. Experts have stated that anybody can develop the infection.