Unfortunately, as with any piece of health news, there are lots of social media posts, articles, and opinions. The purpose here is to set the record straight and hopefully be concise and informative for my readers. So here it goes:
WHAT THE HECK IS "MONKEYPOX"?
No, it does not come from monkeys and the planet of the apes will not become a reality. Stop it.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic infection that results in a rash similar to smallpox. It is an orthopoxvirus that is in the same genus as variola (causative agent of smallpox) and vaccinia viruses (virus used in smallpox vaccine).
TELL ME A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THIS LITTLE GUY...
Monkeypox was first isolated in Denmark in the late 1950s from a colony of monkeys from Singapore that were going to be used for polio virus research. In the decades that followed, there were more outbreaks in lab animals in the US. The first disease in humans was identified in 1970s in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Since the discontinuation of smallpox immunization, which does protect against monkeypox, most cases have occurred in Central and West Africa. In the US, the first cases were seen in 2003. Since that time, there were a few cases popping up here and there which were mostly due to travel.
SO...WHAT IS ALL THE EXCITEMENT ABOUT?
Between 2018 and 2021, 7 cases were diagnosed in the United Kingdom. 4 of these cases were related to travel to endemic countries and 2 cases resulted from household transmission from one of the travelers and 1 health care worker acquired it through contact.
Fast forward to 2022. Let’s go to Europe where we see the reported case. By July 2023 World Health Organization (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern. Thousands of confirmed cases in dozens of countries were reported.
HOW DO WE GET INFECTED?
Once lesions are scabbed over and new tissue is being produced, the infectivity risk is reduced.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF ACUTE INFECTION?
Every bug likes to “cook” for a bit in the human body – otherwise known as incubation period. This is the time period from exposure to onset of symptoms. Monkeypox ranges from 5-13 days but can also range 4-21 days.
WHO IS AT MOST RISK FOR INFECTION AND POOR PROGNOSIS?**Immunocompromised individuals. These include anyone with history of active cancer, on active chemotherapy, taking medications that suppress their immune system.
RISK OF DEATH?
Very low, especially in the US. Hospitalizations occurred due to pain control, secondary infections, and had favorable outcomes.
WHEN SHOULD AN INFECTION BE SUSPECTED?
Rash WITH other symptoms AND exposure history. Since this virus is transmitted through close human contact with respiratory secretions, any genital lesions with exposure history must be investigated.
WHAT LAB TESTS SHOULD BE ORDERED?
Viral testing – Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Skin lesions or abscesses can be cultured as well. Throat swabs are available but not used to confirm diagnosis.
HOW CAN WE PREVENT THIS?
Isolation and standard precautions. PPE use in health care settings helps spread of the virus in the hospital.
ANY TREATMENT OPTIONS?
No Ivermectin please. Tecovirimat is the first antiviral indicated for the treatment of smallpox that was approved in 2018. Brincidofovir, analog of cidofovir, was approved in US 2021. Both of these agents are not available for commercial sale.
Vaccination for smallpox eradicated this from the world. Now with growing cases of Monkeypox, vaccinations are starting again. But again, these are not readily available at this time. US has 2 vaccines in its stockpiles: JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. CDC does not recommend widespread vaccination against monkeypox at this time
Here is a list of phone numbers for KS health departments:
Currently, no widespread vaccination programs in MO and KS, but both states have stored vaccines.
Please review CDC website for more information.
Human beings are not meant to be static beings. The human body is dynamic. It does an incredible job at adapting, cleansing, healing, and building to treat and prevent injury. It does all of this instantly. The human body recognizes challenges, adjusts its processes and mechanisms to address and resolve those challenges. It is absolutely incredible!
Therefore, change is a natural phenomenon for all of us. So why is it so hard for us to make changes? Why do we fall short of our goals? Why do we say things like "I wish I could..." or "If only this didn't happen, then I would have done..."
Each one of us can achieve great things. Whatever dreams we have, we can achieve. The solution is our mindset, our life philosophy. Here are 3 key elements to making dramatic life changes.
1. Understand that we ALL have similar experiences, but the difference is how we respond to it.
"The same wind blows on us all; the wind of disaster, opportunity, and change. Therefore, it is not the blowing of the wind, but the setting of the sails that determine our direction in life." - Jim Rohn
We must learn from the experiences that happen to us. Those who have faith may recall ancient stories where God says He puts us through experiences to teach us, to prepare us, so that we are ready to achieve our dreams. We may think we are ready, but we're not. Experiences may happen to us so that we learn certain lessons like what can go wrong, what elements or structure needs to be in place, and what kind of people we may need to surround ourselves with in order to achieve our goal. There is always a Master Plan and our job is to navigate, learn, adapt, and keep moving forward with gratitude. Knowledge and experience make us stronger, informed, and more prepared. I am telling you, majority of the time when we embrace this mindset, our success will be far greater than the goal we had originally set for ourselves.
2. There are certain things that will not change.
Seasons and time won't change. Similarly, bear markets and bull markets will come and go. Interest rates will fluctuate. Taxes will exist. All these things will not change. Once you understand this, your mindset completely changes. In the economic summer, you will prepare for winter. In a bull market, you will prepare for a bear market. When interest rates are low, you prepare for rates to rise. Once you achieve this mindset, you perceive challenges with ease. No challenge is ever too great to conquer. You embrace and appreciate each moment as every experience in life has a purpose and value.
3. You must be willing to change
"Don't wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don't wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don't wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom." -Jim Rohn
What drives you? What do you enjoy? Figure out what gets you excited about life. Once you figure out what gets you going and what hinders your progress, then your mind and body will be fueled with energy. Maybe you need to get away from negativity, stop watching the news, mute certain text messages, leave certain social media platforms to allow yourself to immerse into what you enjoy.
Get moving physically and emotionally. Learn how to make yourself better, how to apply what you learned to your daily routine. Stop being a drifter in life and take an active role. Look forward to each week, each day, each hour with certain goals. Imagine what you can accomplish in a month, a year, a lifetime with this discipline!
Finally, write things down. Hold yourself accountable. If you are trying to lose weight, then the formula is burn more energy than you consume. Use MyFitnessPal and other apps to document your meals, create a excel spreadsheet to document your workouts, have a plan. Each day, reflect on your progress and make short term goals that work towards your ultimate goal.
These 3 principles will bring dramatic change into your life. Focus on implementing them today so that change will come as soon as tomorrow.
To a life filled with gratitude,
"He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all."