Doctor's Notes on Monkeypox
Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the (family Poxviridae and related to the Orthopoxvirus genus that also includes variola virus (the cause of smallpox). Signs and symptoms are similar to smallpox that begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, backaches, chills and exhaustion; then in about 1-3 days after fever starts, the patient develops a rash, usually starting on the face. During this time, lymph nodes swell – this does not happen with smallpox. As the rash spreads, lesions develop and progressively change over time from macules and papules to vesicles and pustules that eventually form scabs. The death rate in humans is about 10% in humans. Other animals can get the disease (for example, rodents).
The cause of monkeypox is infection with the monkeypox virus. The virus can be transmitted from animals-to-humans and human-to-human by the virus entering the body through skin breaks, respiratory tract or eyes, nose or mouth.
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Fever (in Adults)A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Fever in ChildrenFever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38 C. Fever isn't life-threatening unless it is persistently high - greater than a 107 F rectal temperature. Fever is usually caused by an infection. Treatment focuses on controlling the temperature, preventing dehydration, and monitoring for serious illness.
Headache (Mild)Mild headaches and tension headaches are common but usually do not represent a serious illness. They result from irritation or injury to pain-sensing structures of the head. Symptoms of mild headache pain include aching, squeezing, or bandlike pain, on both sides of the head, generally above the level of the eyebrows. Treatment includes a variety of self-care measures and over-the-counter medications.
Low Back PainBack pain may be caused by sciatica, a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, injury and pregnancy. The pain usually radiates down the legs, pain that gets worse with activity or at night, or numbness or weakness in the leg. Treatment may involve sleeping with a pillow between the knees or taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) TestPCR (polymerase chain reaction) is technique in molecular genetics that analyzes short sequences of DNA or RNA. PCR is used to help doctors diagnose HIV, viruses, and fungi in patients. RT-PCR is a test used to detect and measure RNA -- as of June 2020, this is the standard test to diagnose the presence of the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus responsible for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Rash (Causes, Types, and Cures)A rash is a visible skin outbreak. Examples of noninfectious rashes include eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, hives, and allergic dermatitis. Types of infectious rashes include ringworm, impetigo, scabies, herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. Rashes may be caused by fungi, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Treatment depends upon the type of rash.
Swollen Lymph NodesLymph nodes (part of the lymphatic system) may signal infection if they are swollen. Types of conditions that involve swollen lymph nodes include: infection, virus, inflammation, or cancers. Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes depend upon the location. Treatment of swollen lymph nodes also depends upon the location and reason for the enlargement.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.