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Monkeypox Indonesia: Cases updated, How It Spreads and Ways to Treat It

November 9, 2023
by Luthfi Mardiansyah

After the eradication of smallpox, the monkeypox virus is recognized as the most crucial orthopoxvirus infection. Both smallpox and monkeypox belong to the same group of orthopoxvirus. Monkeypox leads to flu, rashes, lymph node swelling, and muscle aches. The symptoms can take 5 to 21 days to appear.


Monkeypox is rare but it has recently been in the news for its increase. It affects everyone, especially kids under the age of 15. A major study has found that the monkeypox virus outbreak is more predominant in men who have sex with men.


The World Health Organization declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency on Saturday, July 23, 2022.  The determination of this status is the highest warning issued by WHO due to the increase in monkeypox cases throughout the world. 


WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, more than 70 countries have been infected with this outbreak. In fact, there are more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox in the world. There have been five deaths due to this outbreak so far. Determination of this status will help speed up vaccine development and implementation of measures to limit the spread of the virus.


The monkeypox virus was first discovered in Central Africa in the 1950s. Even though it was discovered decades ago, this disease never spread and sparked an outbreak outside the continent. However, in May 2022, authorities detected dozens of epidemics in Europe, North America and several other places.

  1. Meera Chand, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections at UKHSA, said that most cases of monkeypox in the UK occur in gay men, bisexuals and other men who have sex with other men. In addition, this disease can be transmitted through close contact between an infected person and people in an interconnected sexual network. Therefore, it is recommended to provide vaccinations to people at high risk as above as soon as possible. 


Cases upated.

The first case of monkeypox in Indonesia was discovered in the Jakarta area in August 2022. As of September 2022, there were around 75 suspected cases of monkeypox, consisting of 1 confirmed case, 1 suspect and 73 discarded cases.


However, as time went by, there was an increase in cases as reported by the Indonesian Ministry of Health (MoH). The number of cases recorded as of Friday, November 3, 2023, is 36 people with monkeypox cases in Indonesia. A total of 33 patients are still isolated, while 3 other patients have been declared cured. Most of the monkeypox patients were cases that occurred in Jakarta, namely 28 patients, of which 1 patient found in August 2022 has been declared cured. The other eight cases are spread across West Java and Banten provinces.


The Indonesian Ministry of Health also highlighted the results of a report regarding the increasing lifestyle of male sex groups (gay), which is the cause of the increase in monkeypox and HIV. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health is moving to overcome the spread of monkeypox cases by providing treatment and vaccines.


How monkeypox spreads

Monkeypox virus spreads in three ways:

  • Direct contact with an infected human
  • When you come in contact with contaminated objects
  • From infected animals to humans

Monkeypox which spreads from person to person happens when a healthy person comes in contact with the infected person’s lesions or scabs. Their saliva, blood, mucus, and semen help in spreading the disease. Even indulging in non-sexual contact like a hug or kiss can transmit the disease from one person to another.

The virus also spreads from an infected person’s respiratory particles as well. Like breath, coughing, sneezing, and just standing closely with each other. An infected woman who is pregnant has the chance of spreading the virus to their baby through the placenta.


How to prevent monkeypox

You can reduce the chances of getting monkeypox by following the below steps:

  • Avoid coming in direct contact with an infected person
  • Avoid touching an infected person’s belongings or any surface or object that could be contaminated
  • Keep washing your hands regularly with soap and water
  • Avoid touching dead animals
  • Don’t eat poorly cooked meat
  • Practice safe sex
  • Always wear a mask when you go out
  • Wear a mask, safety goggles, and gloves when taking care of an infected person.


Methods of treatments

Although there are no specific treatments or therapies for monkeypox, there are antiviral drugs and vaccines which help in protection against the virus. The same drugs and vaccines used for smallpox are used in the case of monkeypox as well. Monkeypox outbreak can be controlled by cidofovir, ST-246, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG)

There are no drugs officially approved for monkeypox. If the patient has a weak immune system, antivirals such as tecovirimat (TPOXX) and vaccines like Jynneos are recommended since people with weak immune systems have a chance of falling severely ill.


What to do when you have monkeypox

Don’t panic if you have been diagnosed with monkeypox. When you notice rashes appearing on your body, see your healthcare provider and get a blood test done. Avoid meeting people and isolate yourself until the lesions disappear from every part of your body. Other things to keep in mind are:

  • Don’t donate blood, semen, or any other donatable fluids from your body
  • Check your temperature at least twice a day
  • If you have a high fever and swollen lymph nodes, then contact your doctor immediately.


Other complications

Monkeypox can have certain complications in rare cases like:

  • Blindness
  • Scars on legs, hands, and face
  • Sometimes death

Of the two types of monkeypox virus, namely central and west African, the kind of monkeypox virus which is spreading at the moment is west Africa. They aren’t that dangerous or life-threatening.

Monkeypox is non-fatal and mostly cures on its own. Raise awareness about monkeypox and encourage people around you to follow monkeypox virus prevention methods.

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