Homehealthcare News

Explained: Prevention, treatment and vaccines effective against monkeypox infection

Explained: Prevention, treatment and vaccines effective against monkeypox infection

Explained: Prevention, treatment and vaccines effective against monkeypox infection
Profile image

By CNBCTV18.com May 24, 2022 9:44:32 AM IST (Updated)

Studies have found the smallpox vaccine is at least 85 percent effective against monkeypox, CDC revealed. At present, the US has licensed two vaccines to prevent smallpox, one of which is being authorised specifically for monkeypox

As reports of more people being infected with the virus emerge, scientists are rushing to understand what is causing monkeypox and how to best respond to the infection.

Recommended Articles

View All

As of May 21, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 92 confirmed cases of monkeypox and 28 suspected cases from 12 countries where the disease is not endemic, The Guardian reported.
In Europe, cases have been reported in Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Sweden, which are far from West and Central Africa where the outbreaks are typically reported.
While health officials are yet to determine from where people caught the monkeypox virus, there is a rising concern of the virus spreading undetected through the community.
US President Joe Biden had on Sunday said that monkeypox virus was something that "everybody should be concerned about" and that the country was working on vaccines available to protect people against the infection. "We’re working on it hard to figure out what we do and what vaccine, if any, might be available for it," The Washington Post quoted the US President as saying from South Korea.
He said the infection is a concern as allowing it to spread would become consequential.
Symptoms and transmission
Those infected with the viral zoonotic disease show signs of fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes. Although, these symptoms may lead to medical complications, monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease lasting from 2 to 4 weeks, WHO said. Cases fatality ratio for Monkeypox is around 3-6 percent.
A person gets the monkeypox virus when he comes in close contact with an infected person or animal or contaminated material.
Although the clinical presentation of monkeypox is similar to that of smallpox, it is less contagious and less deadly.
Prevention
Raising awareness and educating people about the risk factors is the key to the prevention of the disease. People should also be told about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus.
Vaccination
At present, scientific studies are being undertaken to evaluate the feasibility and appropriateness of vaccination for preventing monkeypox. According to WHO, some countries are formulating policies to offer vaccines to those who may be at risk of acquiring the disease such as health workers, laboratory personnel and rapid response teams.
Studies have found the smallpox vaccine is at least 85 percent effective against monkeypox, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC) revealed. At present, the US has licensed two vaccines to prevent smallpox, one of which is being authorised specifically for monkeypox, The Washington Post reported.
Treatments
Even though the disease has affected thousands in African countries since the 1970s, there are no specific treatments for monkeypox infection available at this moment. However, monkeypox outbreaks can be controlled, CDC said.
The CDC recommended the use of smallpox vaccine, Cidofovir, ST-246, and Vaccinia Immune Globulin (VIG) to control a monkeypox outbreak.
The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has also approved drugs like Tpoxx (generic name: tecovirimat) and Tembexa (generic name: brincidofovir) for the treatment of smallpox. Both these drugs are antivirals and can be taken orally or injected.
Copenhagen-based biotechnology firm Bavarian Nordic has developed a vaccine for smallpox called the Jynneos Smallpox Vaccine, which is currently licensed for use against monkeypox in the US. In Europe, the Jynneos vaccine is known as Imvanex.
Another by Tonix Pharmaceutical is in the pipeline, Quartz reported.
Check out our in-depth Market Coverage, Business News & get real-time Stock Market Updates on CNBC-TV18. Also, Watch our channels CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC Bajar Live on-the-go!