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Alarming rise of Alaskapox: First death spurs urgent health measures in Alaska

Visual Representation for Alaskapox

United States: Alaskapox, a recently discovered viral disease, has been now becoming a threat with each passing day; recently, an elderly man from Alaska succumbed to the virus, according to health officials.

The preliminary information shared by the health officials revealed that the man belonged to the Kenai Peninsula. He was seeking possible treatment against the viral disease. Accordingly, he died in hospital in late January this year.

What does the Alaskan Health Department have to reveal?

The Alaskan Health Department further stated that the severity of the illness increased due to the weakened immune system of the infected individual, according to Sky News.

According to the official stats, the dead person was one of the seven (7) – who were suffering from the Alaskapox infections. It is to be noted that the first-ever case of the infection was reported in 2015 – at that time, the infected person showed symptoms like rashes and swollen lymph nodes.

All other patients were from Fairbanks regions and were diagnosed with mild infections – which did not require treatment.

Details about Alaskapox infection!

Alaskapox – which is commonly known as AKPV, is a zoonotic virus with double-stranded DNA. Initially, the infection was found among the mammals of Alaska state and was reported to be transferred to humans, as per the reports by Sky News.

However, the health authorities have highlighted that the prime mode of disease transfer is ‘unclear,’ however, it is believed that the infection was transferred to the deceased person from scratches from an infected stray cat. According to the official reports, at that time, the person dealt with a red bump and was treated with some antibiotics, but the situation continued to worsen, and he started experiencing fatigue and increased pain in the scratched area and his shoulder.

The official case report also revealed that, slowly, the range of motion of his right arm was impacted, following which he was admitted to a hospital in Anchorage. After getting admitted, he developed lesions similar to pox.

While the individual was seeking treatment, ‘extensive’ tests were conducted, and one of the cases showed that he was infected with cowpox. 

A news bulletin, which covered the case in detail, outlined that the condition of the man gradually increased after treatment for a week, though he lost his life in late January. The report suggested that the person died after experiencing kidney failure and other systemic declines, as Sky News.

Various reports have believed that this sudden death of an individual has contributed to increasing statewide awareness, as it is rapidly increasing among small mammals.

As a precautionary measure, the health agency has mentioned nine recommendations that would be followed by a suspected Alaskapox infection. The recommendations included avoiding touching lesions, keeping them dry and covered, and following hand hygiene practices.

Symptoms of the infection!

Some of the common symptoms of the infection are muscle aches, skin lesions, and swollen lymph nodes.

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