Monkeypox or Mpox: Symptoms, Treatment and Vaccination Updates for 2022

Monkeypox or Mpox: Symptoms, Treatment and Vaccination Updates for 2022

2023-06-02 14:16:09

More and more cases of monkeypox or Mpox are becoming known in North America and Europe. The WHO urgently calls for containment. But how does the treatment actually work?

In fact, they were mainly known in a few regions on the African continent, now there are more and more cases in Europe. With the monkey pox or Mpox, new questions arise: How are they treated? And what are the symptoms of infection? Everything important at a glance.

What is monkeypox or Mpox?

Mpox are a viral disease, which can be transmitted through close contact between people. This happens especially with close contact. The infectious disease was first identified in monkeys. However, researchers assume that rodents such as rats or squirrels are particularly affected. They can also infect humans through bites, body fluids or consumption.

What is monkeypox called now?

The first case of the infectious disease was discovered in 1958. At that time, the disease was discovered in a laboratory monkey. For this reason, the term “monkeypox” has long been mentioned. Since there were many misunderstandings due to the name and monkeys were sometimes seen as dangerous carriers of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) changed the name of the infection. Instead of the previous English term “Monkeypox”, the term “Mpox” is used.

Video: dpa

Symptoms: What happens when you have monkeypox or Mpox?

People infected with the Mpox virus often show symptoms that are also found in other viral diseases. According to the health insurance company AOK, these include:

  • fever and chills
  • Headaches, backaches and body aches
  • exhaustion
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • Inflammation of the genital and anal region

However, these do not occur in all infected people. A symptom that only occurs with monkeypox or Mpox infection, are skin changes. These are smallpox-like and can appear as spots, nodules, blisters, and/or pustules. These go through various stages until they crust over and fall off.

The face, the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands are particularly affected by this skin change. But the rash can also appear in the eyes, mouth, genitals and anus.

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Treatment: How is monkeypox or Mpox treated?

According to that Robert Koch Institute (RKI) should people infected with monkeypox or Mpox must be quarantined for at least 21 days. This recommendation also applies to contact persons of infected people.

The treatment itself is symptomatic. So depending on what signs of illness the person is showing. The Barmer health insurance company writes, for example, that patients may receive medication for fever, headaches and itching. In immunocompromised people and in patients with a severe course, the RKI recommends treating the infection with the active ingredient tecovirimat. The drug has also been approved in the EU for the treatment of Mpox since January 2022. However, the drug is not widely available. The active substance inhibits the release of new viruses in the host cell, i.e. the cell that carries the virus. Because when infected with monkeypox, the virus multiplies in the human body. They penetrate the cells and cause them to form new viruses.

Is there a vaccination against monkeypox or Mpox?

The RKI recommends the vaccine Imvatex. This has also been approved in Europe for the prevention of Mpox or monkeypox since July 2022. The full course of vaccination consists of two doses to be given at least 28 days apart. In Germany, the Canadian vaccine Jynneos has been used almost exclusively so far. However, it is almost identical to the Imvanex vaccine. The Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO) recommends vaccination for risk groups.

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