Home » Alaska smallpox, how the new virus is caught: symptoms and risks

Alaska smallpox, how the new virus is caught: symptoms and risks

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Alaska smallpox, how the new virus is caught: symptoms and risks

The news of the death of an elderly person due to the rare and unusual Alaskan smallpox virus, known as Alaskapox, has raised concerns among the public. This virus, belonging to a family of viruses capable of infecting both animals and humans, has only been reported in seven people since its discovery in 2015. The recent death of the elderly man marks the first recorded fatality from Alaskapox, which is closely linked to smallpox.

Symptoms of Alaskapox include skin lesions, enlarged lymph nodes, and muscle pains. The elderly man who died from Alaskapox was immunocompromised and undergoing cancer treatment, which exacerbated the disease and led to complications resulting in his death. The Alaska Department of Health has warned that immunocompromised individuals may be at greater risk of serious illness from Alaskapox.

The virus has been primarily identified in small mammals, with rodents and red-backed shrews being the most common carriers. While the virus is mainly found in small mammals, the experts warn that dogs and cats may also play a role in the spread of the virus. It is crucial for individuals in affected areas to pay attention to their pets to prevent the spread of the virus.

The mechanisms of contagion are not yet clear, but researchers suggest that the virus may be zoonotic, capable of transmitting from animals to humans but not between humans. Doctor Stathis Giotis, a researcher in infectious diseases, highlighted the need for further research to determine the main route of transmission of the virus.

To protect against the virus, individuals with skin lesions caused by Alaskapox are advised to cover the affected area with a bandage and practice thorough handwashing. There is no evidence of transmission between humans, but it is important to recognize the signs of infection and take precautions when interacting with wildlife.

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The discovery of Alaskapox and the recent fatality have raised concerns in Alaska, and health authorities are urging the public to take precautions and stay informed about the virus. Further research is needed to better understand the transmission and prevention of Alaskapox.

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