Monkeypox: Information, Symptoms, and Prevention

Published: 06-09-2022 | 1 MIN READ | Author: Prism Health North Texas

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare infection, but cases are starting to pop up in several cities globally, including one reported case in Dallas.

Monkeypox is a virus very similar to smallpox. The main differences between the two are that monkeypox symptoms are much less severe than smallpox, and the chances of catching monkeypox are lower.

Transmission of monkeypox is typically linked to international travel or the international import of animals. With more than 1,200 reported cases of monkeypox reported globally, it does seem there is some spread within communities.

A vast majority of the time, cases of monkeypox are mild, sometimes likened to chickenpox, and will clear up without treatment within 14-21 days.

A smallpox vaccination can be up to 85% effective in preventing a monkeypox infection.

See a CDC fact sheet here.

How is it Spread?

Until this point, the most common transmission of monkeypox has been from the bite or scratch of an infected animal. Person-to-person transmission can occur through skin-to-skin contact with a monkeypox sore or intimate contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

It can also be spread through respiratory droplets if a person is in close, prolonged proximity to a person with monkeypox. Clothes and linens that have contacted a monkeypox sore can transmit the virus but it’s still unknown how transmittable it is through other surfaces.

It’s also unclear if monkeypox can spread through sexual fluids but health agencies suggest people wear a condom when having sex for at least eight weeks after infection.

Also, pregnant women can spread monkeypox to an unborn baby through the placenta.

What are the Symptoms?

The first symptoms of a monkeypox infection can include fever, headaches, back pain, muscle aches, and joint swelling.

After the fever breaks a rash will develop, typically starting on the face and spreading to the palms of hands and soles of feet. The rash can be extremely itchy or painful and may cause scarring after it clears.

Although there have been cases reported, monkeypox is not an infection only affecting the gay and bisexual male communities. Anyone that has close, personal contact with an infected person can get monkeypox.

Please visit the CDC website for more information.

 

Sources:

CDC: Monkeypox

BBC News: What is monkeypox and how do you catch it?

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Author: Prism Health North Texas

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