It was a fine summer day in MysticLand. Orak and Scorch had plans to head to the human realm for a spot of fun. Scorch said, “Now that the world is slowly returning to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic, we can enjoy all the activities we wanted to.”

“With the right precautions of course,” said Orak as he picked up a facemask from his drawer.

“Hold on!” said Verum, “You need to hear about monkeypox before you leave!”

“Monkey-what now?” said Scorch.

“Monkeypox. It is a rare, little-known disease caused by the monkeypox virus. This infection occurs mostly near tropical rainforests in remote areas of central and west African countries,” said Verum, “However, in recent days, it has spread to at least 21 other countries in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 200 cases have been confirmed in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, France, and so on. So, you should be careful while traveling.”

“Verum, what are the symptoms of this disease?” said Orak.

“The initial symptoms can include fever, headache, swellings, back pain, and aching muscles,” said Verum, “A rash develops once the fever breaks. It can be extremely itchy and painful. But after some time, it forms a scab which then falls off. This takes about 14 to 21 days.”

“Ouch, that sounds super uncomfortable,” said Scorch, “But how does it spread? Covid-19 is an airborne virus. Is monkeypox one too?”

“No, it spreads via touch or close contact with an infected human or animal as well as through contact with personal objects like bedding and clothes. The virus enters the body through broken skin, the nose, the mouth, or the eyes,” said Verum.

“Wow, it spread from Africa to rest the of the world,” said Orak, “Was it through people who traveled?”

“Yes, it seems like that,” said Verum, “Don’t worry. The infection is quite mild compared to similar diseases like the dangerous but eradicated smallpox. Nonetheless, countries like the UK and Germany are buying smallpox vaccines in case the outbreak gets worse. This vaccine can guard humans against monkeypox.”

“Maybe we should stay in for now,” said Orak, “Verum, please keep us updated!”