THREE possible cases of monkeypox have so far been registered in the Valencia Region, one in each province, according to health department sources.
Two possible cases were reported yesterday (Wednesday), one in Valencia and another in Alicante, however a previously suspected case in Valencia, which had been registered on Tuesday, was ruled out, although all that was known about it was that it hadn’t been imported.
So, at the moment there are three cases under investigation: the two cases reported today, in Alicante and Valencia provinces, and a third in Castellón province which was reported on Tuesday and would be an imported case as the person has visited an area where monkeypox is endemic and is reported to have symptoms “compatible with the illness”.
On Thursday of last week the health department began alerting public medical centres across the region about the illness, what it is, its causes and how to detect it, as well as telling health professionals to get in touch urgently with the Preventitive Medicine department in the event of detecting a possible case.
What is monkeypox?
According to the US government Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Monkeypox is a viral disease that occurs mostly in central and western Africa. It is called monkeypox because it was first identified in laboratory monkeys.
“The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries.
How is monkeypox transmitted?
On its website in the UK, the NHS says: “Monkeypox can be caught through a bite from an infected animal or by touching its blood, body fluids, spots, blisters or scabs.
“It can also be passed on through touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash, touching monkeypox skin blisters or scabs or the coughs or sneezes of a person with the monkeypox rash.
Finally, meat from an infected animal which has not been properly cooked, can also cause infection as can products like animal skin and fur from an infected animal.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
If you get infected with monkeypox, it usually takes between 5 and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear. These include:
- a high temperature
- a headache
- muscle aches
- swollen glands
- shivering (chills)
A rash usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms. It often begins on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body, and is sometimes confused with chickenpox. Symptoms usually clear up in 2 to 4 weeks.