Virologist Sandra López helps us understand everything related to the ‘monkey or apepox’ virus

The virologist and head of the Department of Virology and Biotechnology Research at the Gorgas Memorial Institute, Sandra López, delved into the monkeypox virus on Tuesday, also known as monkeypox.

He mentioned that this virus was first identified in humans in 1970, and it continues to spread. Currently there are more than 90 confirmed cases in at least 12 countries and fifty cases pending confirmation, however, there are still no cases in our country.

López clarified that the virus is not so easily transmitted between people. “The virus can be spread by close contact with an infected person or animal, or by unprotected contact with injuries, bleeding, body fluids, respiratory droplets (by coughing or sneezing), and contaminated material such as clothing and sheets used by the sick person. As it happens through close contact, it can be spread through body fluids (blood, semen, etc.), through wounds and of course it can be transmitted through sexual contact,” he said.

He stressed that this virus is not transmitted like Covid-19 and is not a respiratory virus.

As for the symptoms, they include fever, headache, muscle pain, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A skin rash can develop that often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body, including the genitals. The skin rash changes and goes through different stages: it can resemble chickenpox or syphilis, before eventually forming a scab that then falls off.

The incubation period averages 12 days, with a general range of 7 to 17 days, but can be as long as 5 to 21 days. The person is not contagious during the incubation period of this virus.

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