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Know How You Can Differentiate The Symptoms

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Know How You Can Differentiate The Symptoms

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The worldwide Monkeypox outbreak has been significant enough for the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare it a global health emergency. Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease, caused by the monkeypox virus, with symptoms similar to those seen among chickenpox and smallpox patients in the past.

The former is less severe with a lower rate of fatalities. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, this viral disease was first discovered in 1958 and its first case in humans was detected in 1970.

As per the reports by CDC, people affected with the monkeypox virus develop a rash that could be located near their genital area or on the genitals themselves. It could also be present on the butthole or on other parts of the body like the hands, feet, chest, face or mouth.

The monkeypox rash initially looks like pimples or blisters which may be painful or itchy. It goes through several stages, including scabs, prior to healing.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Rohit Batra, Dermatologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, explained that the monkeypox rash might appear similar to other more typical infectious rashes, which is leading to confusion among patients about whether they have Monkeypox, Chickenpox, Smallpox or some other sort of rash.

Amid its current rapid spread, it is important that people should be able to differentiate the symptoms of monkeypox from those of other such rashes and avoid confusion. Dr Batra has highlighted some differences between monkeypox and chickenpox which we discuss here.

The major differentiating factor is that while Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus, chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), a member of the herpesvirus group.

The typical first-stage symptoms of Monkeypox include fever, malaise, headache and an occasional sore throat, cough and swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms can occur 4-5 days prior to the skin lesions and rashes. In the case of chickenpox, skin rashes appear 1 to 2 days post fever. The monkeypox lesions are bigger than the chickenpox ones.

Dr Sanjeev Gupta, Professor and Head- Department of Dermatology at MM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, added on to the differences, in conversation with the Hindustan Times. He said that while the chickenpox lesions self-limit after a week, the Monkeypox lesions do not. Chickenpox lesions are easily breakable, unlike Monkeypox ones.

It takes 2-4 weeks for the monkeypox lesions to completely heal whereas the process is considerably faster in chickenpox. The fluid inside the monkeypox rashes might result in a viral infection that can in turn reduce the body’s defence mechanisms leading to more complications.

In the case of chickenpox, medical treatment is available but patients most often heal at home in isolation.

(Disclaimer: The content of this article is based on several reports. You must consult a medical expert for any queries or best treatment.)

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