Important Facts for Prelims (6th November 2018)
Monkeypox in Central Africa
- A new and emerging contagious disease threat, caused by monkeypox, has been declared a 'public health threat' in parts of central Africa.
- According to World Health Organisation, monkeypox is a rare viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of central and west Africa, near tropical rainforests.
- The virus is mostly transmitted to people from various wild animals such as rodents and primates, but has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.
- There is no specific treatment or vaccine available although prior smallpox vaccination was highly effective in preventing monkeypox as well.
- Human monkeypox was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- In 2017, Nigeria experienced the largest documented outbreak.
- Since May 2018, the virus has been spreading in parts of Africa.
- It is similar to human smallpox, a disease that was eradicated in 1980. Although monkeypox is much milder than smallpox, it can be fatal.
Two New Gecko Species
- The spot-necked day gecko (Cnemaspis Maculicolis) and the Anaimudi day gecko (Cnemaspis Anamudiensis) are the two new gecko species found in India.
- These two very distinctly-patterned lizards are found only in the higher reaches of the Agasthyamalai and Annamalai hill ranges in the Western Ghats.
- Spot-necked day gecko has bluish-white spots in a distinct ‘necklace-pattern’ on its nape.