IPB University Faculty of Medicine Lecturer Talks about Monkeypox Transmission and Prevention
Monkey Pox or Mpox (Monkeypox) is starting to become a concern for many parties. Based on daily data received as of October 31, 2023, 22 confirmed cases were reported in Jakarta, 4 cases in Banten and 1 case in Bandung.
dr. Dinda Iryawati BS, M.K.M, IPB University Lecturer from the Faculty of Medicine said that Mpox can be transmitted in various ways. Starting from direct contact, being exposed to splashes, and even transmission through animal scratches or bites.
“Mpox can be transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact or exposure to saliva splashes from symptomatic people, indirect contact with objects contaminated with the virus, and transmission through the placenta from pregnant women to their fetuses. In many cases, Mpox is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact during sexual intercourse, including kissing, touching, and oral sex. Transmission can also occur from animal bites or scratches, or when hunting, skinning, or cooking the animal,” she said.
In addition, dr Dinda added that Mpox (Monkeypox) is an emerging zoonosis caused by monkeypox virus (MPXV), a species of the genus Orthopoxvirus. Since May 2022, Mpox has become a disease of global public health concern, as cases reported from non-endemic countries are increasing rapidly.
“On 23 July 2022, the Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) designated Mpox as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). As of January 10, 2023, 84,415 cases have been reported from 110 countries with 76 deaths. Indonesia itself has reported one confirmed case of Mpox on August 20, 2022,” she added.
Regarding symptom indications, Dr Christy Efiyanti, SpPD, IPB University Lecturer from the Faculty of Medicine revealed that in someone who has been exposed to Mpox, symptoms begin to appear one week after exposure.
“Symptoms can last up to 2-4 weeks or more in patients with immune system disorders. Symptoms include a rash with blisters on the face, hands, feet, eyes, mouth, and/or genitals, fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes (in the neck, armpits, or groin), headache, muscle pain, and weakness,” said Dr Christy Efiyanti.
She added that the rash starts as a flat rash which then develops into fluid-filled blisters that are itchy or painful. As the rash begins to heal, the lesions dry out and crusts develop which then peel off on their own. Symptomatic and supportive treatment can be given to relieve complaints that arise.
In addition, regarding diagnosis, Dr Christy Efiyanti added that Mpox symptoms are difficult to detect because the symptoms and signs resemble other diseases.
“Detection of viral DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the selected examination to make a diagnosis. Specimens are obtained from the rash, skin fluid or crusts, pharyngeal or anal and rectal smears,” she added.
Treatment of Mpox can be done by reducing pain and preventing complications. Early supportive treatment is essential to reduce symptoms and prevent complications. The Mpox vaccine can prevent infection by being given four days after contact with a Mpox patient (or up to 14 days if there are no symptoms).
Meanwhile, dr Dinda conveyed prevention methods following the guidelines from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia 2023. These prevention methods include protecting oneself and others, avoiding skin-to-skin contact, or being too close face-to-face, and including sexual contact with anyone who has symptoms. In addition, it is required to wash hands with running water and soap frequently or use hand sanitizer, clean areas or objects and surfaces that are frequently touched, use masks, and apply cough etiquette.
“If you experience symptoms of Mpox, immediately isolate yourself at home and seek help at the nearest health care facility,” said dr Dinda. (IAAS/TNY)