Alaska pox a rare virus: The first victim is an Elderly man

An elderly man from Alaska has become the first known fatality from Alaska pox, a virus that spreads through mammals and is linked to smallpox. Alaskapox

Alaskapox


Alaska’s state health officials reported the first person in the state has died from a newly discovered virus known as Alaska pox.

Before we jump into what’s happening, let me provide you with some basic knowledge about this new virus.

What is Alaska pox?

Alaska pox has links to smallpox, cowpox, and mpox, according to health officials. patients have one or more bumps on the skin or pustules, joint or muscle pain and swollen lymph. it’s not a new virus, it was reported in 2015, for the first time, in the city of Alaska, Fairbanks. Six, apart from the first one, cases have been reported so far around the same area. but cases were reported at different times. 1 in 2020, 2 cases in 2021, 1 in 2022, and 2 cases in 2023 which includes the latest one. 

So, why have we not heard about it before?

The recent case is the first serious fatality of Alaska pox. what happened with others? Those patients had mild symptoms compared to recent ones, they recovered without treatment. people with weak immunity are in danger.

There is no human-to-human transmission of Alaska pox so far. But it can spread from animals to humans. Health officials of Alaska found out that many small mammals in the area of Fairbanks have shown evidence of the virus. But there is one domestic pet was tested positive for the virus. They also tested mammals like wolves and flying squirrels which were found to be infected.

How was the recent case fatal?

The man who died from this virus claimed to have cared for a stray cat in his home. It is not clear how the man got the infection, but researchers believe it can pass from animals to humans. The cat tested negative for the virus, killed small mammals and lots of times scratched the patient.

 So it is possible that the virus was on the cat’s claws when it scratched him. its been seen that the man had a scratch near the armpit area, where the initial symptom was discovered.

The man was receiving cancer treatment which weakened his immune system as a result of the drugs, which might have led to the severity of his sickness. 

The man was hospitalised in November of last year and died at the end of January.

What does health advisory say?

The Alaskan health advisory requested people to regularly clean their hands and clothes. People with skin lesions that may have been caused by the virus should be covered with a bandage. They also said to take precautions when dealing with wildlife in Alaska.

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FAQ

1. What is Alaska pox?

A. Alaska pox is a newly discovered virus with links to smallpox, cowpox, and mpox. It causes patients to develop one or more bumps on the skin or pustules, along with symptoms such as joint or muscle pain and swollen lymph nodes. The virus was first reported in 2015 in Fairbanks, Alaska, and since then, a total of six cases have been reported in the area.

2. How is Alaska pox transmitted?

A. Alaska pox is transmitted from animals to humans, with no known human-to-human transmission so far. Health officials in Alaska have found evidence of the virus in many small mammals in the Fairbanks area. While most patients with Alaska pox have mild symptoms and recover without treatment, individuals with weakened immune systems are at greater risk.

3. What happened in the recent fatal case of Alaska pox?

A. The recent fatal case of Alaska pox involved a man who cared for a stray cat in his home. Despite the cat testing negative for the virus, the man likely contracted the virus through scratches from the cat’s claws. The man was receiving cancer treatment, which weakened his immune system and likely contributed to the severity of his illness. He was hospitalized in November and died at the end of January.

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