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Monkeypox vs. Coronavirus: How the two infections differ
How to differentiate between Monkeypox and COVID-19?
Amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, experts have raised concerns over a new viral disease wreaking havoc in and around the world.
So far, over 100 cases have been confirmed globally and the World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday warned against taking the illness lightly.
"The situation is evolving and WHO expects there will be more cases of monkeypox identified as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries," the global health body said.
"Epidemiological investigations are ongoing, however, reported cases thus far have no established travel links to endemic areas. Based on currently available information, cases have mainly but not exclusively been identified amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) seeking care in primary care and sexual health clinics," it added.
Up until now, there have been no deaths linked to the outbreak.
Compared to the SARs-CoV-2 virus, experts believe we have more resources and tools to prevent the disease to go out of hand and to treat it. That said, let us understand how the two infections differ from one another.
What causes monkeypox vs. COVID-19?
While the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), monkeypox is associated with the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The latter is said to usually spread and circulate among wild animals in Central and West Africa, it can be transmitted to humans when they eat or come in close contact with the infected animals.
Additionally, while COVID-19 contains single strands of genetic material called RNA, monkeypox virus carries double-stranded genetic code in DNA.
How does monkeypox spread?
The disease was named monkeypox in 1958, when the virus was detected in colonies of monkeys, which were used for research purposes.
It can also be transmitted to humans and can be spread to other people. One can spread it to one another through close contact, with bodily fluids, lesions on the skin, or mucosal surfaces such as in the mouth or throat, the World Health Organization explains.
Monkeypox is far less transmissible.
Looking at the rising number of monkeypox cases across the world, few countries have started taking strict measures.
Recently, UK's health authorities raised concerns about the spike in cases of the West African variant in the country. The United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has advised people at a high risk of developing monkeypox or those who have come in close contact with infected people to self-isolate for 21 days. Belgium has also introduced a 21-day mandatory quarantine for monkeypox patients.
However, amid such madness, Otago University biochemistry professor Kurt Krause has said that the monkeypox virus is less dangerous than COVID-19 although it has a higher fatality rate.
"Monkeypox can be serious but generally speaking, the outbreaks that occur involve a few hundred people and they fizzle out because the virus isn't transmitted that readily from one person to another”, he explained in an interview with an international news service, Newshub.
Differences in symptoms
Most common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, fatigue, runny nose, joint pain, headache, shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of sense of smell and taste and gastrointestinal issues.
Monkey pox symptoms on the other hand are similar to smallpox. According to the WHO, headache, fever, chills, sore throat, malaise, fatigue, rash, and lymphadenopathy are some of the common signs and symptoms of monkeypox.
We're all aware of COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination programmes.
Similarly, amid monkeypox alerts, one must also know whether there is a vaccine to prevent the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there's no proven treatment for monkeypox specifically, but since monkeypox is closely related to smallpox, the smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin can protect people from getting monkeypox.
The WHO says that those below age 40-50 are unlikely to have been vaccinated against smallpox, as vaccination ended back in 1980.
- by Agencies
- by Associated Press
- by Republica