Johan Klok2022-07-23T19:56:41.886

Informational brochure about monkeypox virus infections

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection has published a brochure about monkeypox virus infections in Colombia. Below you can read the highlights from this brochure:


What is it? 

A monkeypox virus infection is an infection caused by the monkeypox virus, which is a virus that can be transmitted to humans by other humans and animals infected with the virus. It has similar symptoms to smallpox, however, clinically it is less serious. 


How is it transmitted? 

  • Animal-to-human transmission can occur through direct contact with blood, body fluids, skin lesions, or mucous membranes of infected animals. 
  • Eating undercooked meat and other animal products from infected animals is a possible risk factor. risk. People who live in or near wooded areas can have indirect or low-level exposure to infected animals. 


  • Person-to-person transmission can result from close contact with a) respiratory droplets (coughs and sneezes) of an infected person, b) lesions on the skin of an infected person, c) the clothes of an infected person, or d) recently contaminated objects. 


  • The transmission through respiratory droplets generally requires face-to-face contact. 
  • Transmission can also occur through the mother's placenta to the fetus or during close contact during and after birth. 
  • Although close physical contact is a well-known risk factor for transmission, it is currently unclear whether monkeypox can be transmitted specifically through sexual transmission routes. 


What are the signs and symptoms? 


  • Clinical signs of monkeypox are usually fever, skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes. 
  • Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease, with symptoms that last from 2 to 4 weeks. 
  • Recently, the fatality rate has been around 3%-6%. 
  • The infection can be divided into two periods: The period of invasion (between 0 and 5 days) characterized by fever, severe headache, lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes), back pain, myalgia (painful muscles), and severe asthenia (lack of energy). 
  • Lymphadenopathy is a distinguishing feature of monkeypox compared to other diseases that may initially seem to be similar (chickenpox, measles, smallpox). 
  • The skin rash usually begins within 1 to 3 days from the onset of fever. The rash tends to concentrate more on the face and limbs than on the trunk. The eruption evolves sequentially from macules (lesions with a flat base) to papules (firm, slightly raised lesions), vesicles (lesions filled with clear fluid), pustules (lesions filled with yellowish fluid), and scabs that dry out and fall off. They can give an itchy sensation. 


How is a monkeypox virus infection diagnosed?  

  • Confirmation of a case can only be done by a laboratory by taking fluid samples from the interior of skin lesions. These samples must be sent to the Laboratorio Nacional de Referencia of the Instituto Nacional de Salud.


Treatment of a monkeypox virus infection

  • There is no specific treatment for monkeypox virus infections. 
  • There are antivirals approved for treatment but they are not widely available in the world. 
  • To relieve the symptoms and control complications, and prevent long-term after-effects, patients should be given plenty of food and fluids to maintain an adequate hydration and nutrition status.


What are the preventive measures?

  • Avoid unprotected contact with wild animals (including their meat, blood and other parts), especially those animals which are sick or dead.
  • Avoid close contact with infected people to reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission. 
  • The vaccine against smallpox can be effective but is not available on the market. 
  • In 2019, a vaccine against monkeypox was approved but this vaccine has limited availability in the world. 


If you notice the signs and symptoms of a monkeypox virus infection

Contact your EPS. |


If you have had contact with a confirmed case

Contact your EPS.