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Everything you need to know about Monkeypox
Nov 14, 2022

What is Monkeypox – Here’s everything you need to know

Smallpox and chickenpox are the names of infections that you might have heard about growing up. But over the years, there is a new disease which is gradually spreading to different parts of the world, termed monkeypox. Originally, the disease was discovered back in 1958. But, its unexpected appearance among people in different geographical areas in the past few months, is becoming a concern. On 23rd July 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern, which is just one step below categorising a disease as a pandemic [1]. With concern being flagged by the WHO, it goes without saying that you should be aware of the signs and symptoms so as to undertake general caution. At the same time, it is also essential to know if your health insurancepolicy provides any coverage upon contraction of the disease. Let’s look at all things necessary for you to be informed of this ailment.

What is Monkeypox?

Caused by the monkeypox virus, this disease can lead to several severe complications. It was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of pox-like disease occurred in monkeys. These monkeys were used for further research on the disease. However, the first human case of monkeypox was reported in 1970. Its signs and symptoms are similar to smallpox but are less severe in comparison.

Is monkeypox a common ailment?

No, monkeypox is not a common disease. It is mostly found in the central and western parts of Africa. Although, some cases have been reported from the United Kingdom too. For many years, this disease was limited to the African region and occasionally in other countries including the USA. In 2003, the first breakout of monkeypox occurred outside Africa in the United States when a shipment of rodents was exported to Texas from Ghana. This virus from the rodents spread to prairie dogs which infected 47 people.

To whom does monkeypox affect?

Monkeypox may be contracted by any person who comes in contact with an infected person or animal. However, numbers state that children under 15 years are the ones mostly affected in Africa. Outside Africa, the case is different, where the UK Health Security Agency (UKHAS) states ‘a notable proportion’ of gay and bisexual men are affected.

What are the signs and symptoms of monkeypox?

The symptoms of monkeypox develop only after one or two weeks of being exposed to the virus. Fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes, are some of the initial symptoms. After one to three days of contracting a fever, a person develops a rash, which typically starts on the face before spreading to other body parts. These rashes, which start as red, flat bumps, go through different stages before turning into blisters, and then fall off. The entire process may take up to four weeks. However, the symptoms may differ for some.

Is there a cure for monkeypox?

Yes, monkeypox is curable, but there is no specific treatment that is prescribed. Most individuals recover without any specific treatment. However, a diagnosis from a doctor will help the infected individual with the right prescription for some antibiotics to relieve the symptoms.

Can you prevent monkeypox?

While there is no vaccine or specific medicine for monkeypox at present, the smallpox vaccine may be used in the interim. Staying away from an infected animal or person, avoiding touching the rashes of another infected person, avoiding physical contact with a person having monkeypox, and washing hands frequently with soap, are some of the ways you can make efforts to prevent monkeypox.

Do health insurance policies cover monkeypox?

Yes, most health insurance plans cover monkeypox. If you are planning to travel abroad to the USA or the UK, international health insurance would be advisable. This forms part of your standard health insurance policy or as an add-on to your travel policy. * To know which health insurance to choose, you can make use of a health insurance premium calculator which is a nifty tool that aids in comparing different plans based on coverage and prices. * * Standard T&C Apply Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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