The Department of Health (DH) of Puerto Rico said this Saturday that it is keeping an eye on the development of the monkeypox virus with cases reported in several countries around the world, including one confirmed in the United States and several others with suspicion.

According to the island’s Health Minister, Carlos Mellado, in a press release, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that "at this time the risk of infection is low".

"We are pending the evolution of this new virus"Mellado said.

The most common symptoms associated with monkeypox generally include: fever, severe headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and skin rashes or lesions.

Given this, Mellado urged people who present symptoms of monkeypox, such as characteristic rashes or lesions, should contact their health care provider to receive treatment.

The CDC says that the suspicion of monkeypox should be increased if the rash is in people who have traveled to countries with recently confirmed cases of monkeypox.

Suspicion may also fall on people who report contact with a person or people who have a similar-appearing rash or received a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of monkeypox.

In addition, suspicion lingers if a man regularly has close or intimate in-person contact with other men, including those he meets through a website, digital app, or at a bar or party.

Mellado explained that person-to-person transmission of this disease occurs through large respiratory droplets and through direct contact with bodily fluids or injured material.

These respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required.

Meanwhile, animal-to-human transmission can occur through a bite or scratch, the grooming of game animals, and direct or indirect contact with bodily fluids or injured material.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease, which means that it can be transmitted from animals to humans, although it can also be spread between people, the DS detailed in the statement.

The rash or skin lesions usually begin within one to three days of the onset of the fever, Mellado explained.

The rash also tends to be concentrated on the face, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet.

Lesions, meanwhile, can be flat or slightly raised, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, and can then crust over, dry up, and fall off.

The number of lesions on one person can range from a few to several thousand, and can be found on the mouth, genitals, and eyes.

The lesions, meanwhile, may be widespread or localized only to the genital or perianal area.

Some patients may present with proctitis, and their disease may be clinically confused with a sexually transmitted infection such as syphilis or herpes, or with varicella zoster virus infection.

 

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