Monkeypox cases have been reported in more than 90 countries to date. The global case load number at around 26,000 and in India, as many as 9 cases of monkeypox have been reported now. The World Health Organization said this week that 92% of monkeypox cases beyond Africa were likely infected through sex and its Director-General recently appealed to vulnerable gay and bisexual men to consider reducing their sexual partners “for the moment."
Meanwhile, those with abroad travel history are being constantly monitored to prevent a full-blown outbreak of the viral infection. The most recent cases of Monkeypox infection in India were found to have the A.2 strain of monkeypox virus. Let us know more about the A.2 strain and the symptoms that need to be looked after in patients.
A.2 strain of Monkeypox: Know all about it
The A.2 strain of monkeypox virus was found in two Indian patients who returned to Kerala from UAE in early July. After the onset of lesions on the skin, which is the most common symptom of monkeypox, the suspected patients got themselves admitted. Strain A.2 is different from the strain causing the worrying outbreak of Monkeypox cases in Europe. Strain A.2 belongs to hMPXV-1A lineage of clade 3 (West African clade). The current outbreak is being driven by the B.1 strain of the monkeypox virus.
Of the two known clades- West African and Central African--the West African clade is found to be less severe than Central African lineage. The Cetral African strain cause more severe illness in patients. It has 0–11% mortality and increased transmissibility.
A.2 strain of Monkeypox: Symptoms
The A.2 strain which was found in the Indian patients showed the following symptoms.
-- Low-grade fever
-- Myalgia, which is identified as pain in the muscles
-- Vesicular rashes in the oral cavity and lips
-- Lesion on the genital organ
-- Rashes on arms and legs
-- Dysuria (Pain or discomfort in urination)
-- Genital swelling
Medicines are not normally needed to treat monkeypox. The illness is usually mild and most people infected will recover within a few weeks without needing treatment. But there are vaccines that can be used to control monkeypox outbreaks, which some countries are already using. And treatments do exist for those who become quite ill from the virus. Due to something called cross-protection, smallpox vaccines also work for monkeypox. Although the world was declared free of smallpox in 1980, many countries keep stocks of smallpox vaccines for emergencies. Smallpox vaccine can be up to 85 per cent effective in stopping infection with the monkeypox virus if it is given before people are exposed to the virus.
(With news agency inputs)