Monkeypox: Doctors debunk common myths

Published on Jul 31, 2022 12:46 PM IST

From being contagious to if non-vegetarians can get affected by Monkeypox, here are a few myths debunked by experts.

Monkeypox: Doctors debunk common myths
Monkeypox: Doctors debunk common myths
ByTapatrisha Das, Delhi

Monkeypox, as the name suggests is a viral disease which spreads from infected monkeys to human beings. It is quite similar to smallpox as the virus comes from the same family. Common symptoms of Monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, or swollen lymph nodes. Speaking to HT Lifestyle, Dr. Surendra Kumar, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Accord Superspeciality Hospital, Faridabad said, “Few Rodents are also suspected to spread it. It spreads to humans through blood, fur or fluid of the infected animal. One person getting infected means that without adequate precaution it can take the shape of pandemic. This is precisely why we need to spread awareness.”

ALSO READ: Monkeypox is spreading fast. Now kids are getting it, too

As Monkeypox cases get reported all over the world, there are a round of myths which are clouding people’s awareness on the disease. Dr Surendra Kumar and Dr RVS Bhalla, Director Internal Medicine, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad helped us debunk a few myths related to the disease.

Myth: It is a new virus.

Fact: Monkeypox virus is not a new virus, it is an old virus prevalent in African countries.

Myth: No treatment is available for Monkeypox.

Fact: It is a self-limiting disease in most cases, lesions heal by their own in three-four weeks’ time. The patient needs to stay hydrated and have antipyretics for fever and body ache. Besides nutrition support, skin and eye care should be done, some anti-virals are recommended.

Myth: It is highly contagious.

Fact: The main mode of spread is prolonged contact between face to face, face to skin, and skin to skin. Droplets and fomites can also aid transmission. However, it is less contagious than other illnesses like Covid.

Myth: Smallpox vaccination does not give any protection.

Fact: Historically, prior to smallpox, vaccination has been shown to give up to 85% protection, but this has not been studied for the current cases.

Myth: Non-vegetarians will frequently get affected with monkeypox.

Fact: Eating non vegetarian food does not necessarily mean that one meal can contain the virus for Monkeypox. However, if non vegetarian food is uncooked or not cooked properly food and animal was infected, the risk of infection goes up.

Myth: A person infected with Monkeypox is not required to be in isolation.

Fact: Infected people can easily spread the infection to other people. It is recommended to stay in an isolated room wearing all the protective gear since airborne droplets carrying the Monkeypox virus are heavier then covid-19, so they cannot travel long distance.

Myth: It can spread from humans to animals and vice versa.

Fact: Spread from humans to animals is not well documented. Spread from animals like monkeys, and rodents to humans have been documented.

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