The Informer: Monkeypox is a potentially serious viral illness
Published 7:09 am Monday, July 11, 2022
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a potentially serious viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over. Illness could be confused with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis or herpes, or with chickenpox. Most infections last two to four weeks.
How is monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox spreads in different ways. Monkeypox virus is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus.
It can also spread through contact with clothing, bedding and other items used by a person with monkeypox, or from respiratory droplets that can be passed through prolonged face-to-face contact, including kissing, cuddling or sex.
It is also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.
What should individuals with concerns do?
If you are waiting for test results, follow the same precautions.
If your test is positive, stay isolated until your rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion or a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest or genitals.
Sometimes people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
Since May 2022, 605 monkeypox cases have been identified in 36 states. Globally, more than 7,200 cases have been reported from 54 countries; the case count continues to rise daily. Information about international cases is available from the World Health Organization and information about U.S. cases is available from the CDC. There have been no deaths in the U.S. to date.