Monkeypox has been declared a global health emergency by the world health organization last week. Many health experts around the world have feared this virus for a long time now. According the Economic times, there have been more than 21000 cases worldwide in more than 80 countries so far. Furthermore, nearly 80 people have succumbed to death because of this virus in Africa alone mostly in Nigeria and Congo. However, shares of vaccine manufacturers, anti-viral drug manufacturers and protective equipment makers witnessed a surge in profits last seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monkeypox is a family of viruses called orthopox viruses which transmitted from animals to humans through zoonotic transmission. The common of symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache and muscle ache, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. This virus is not new, the monkeypox virus is closely related to small pox and is commonly spread in Africa and also less severe than smallpox. Die to this the vaccines approved for use against smallpox can be used for monkey pox as well.
Back in 2019, The US FDA had approved the JYNNEOS vaccine for the prevention of smallpox, monkey pox and other diseases caused by orthopox viruses. Additionally, in adults 18 years of age and older, in people categorized as high risk individuals for this virus, the vaccine is approved for use. JYNNEOS vaccines effectiveness against monkey pox remains to be proved as small pox virus was eradicated in 1980 and small outbreaks since then made it impossible to test for phase three clinical trials.
The numbers of cases of monkey pox are rising now in Asia. The Asian strain of monkey pox virus has 99.85% similarity with the Central African strain of monkey pox. This Asian strain is said to be less dangerous in severity and lower rate of transmission than the Central African strain. As the name suggests this virus is transmitted to human from monkeys, few rodents are also suspected of spreading this virus. It spreads to humans via blood and fluids of the infected animals. One person getting infected can result in a pandemic and with a mortality rate of 0.5-10%, we need to spread awareness and prevent community spread of this virus.