You have probably seen news of the current monkeypox outbreak recently. On Saturday, July 23rd, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that monkeypox is a public health emergency of international concern. As of the end of July 2022, there have been over 19,000 cases of monkeypox reported around the world. The rise in cases leads many people to have questions and concerns. Let’s dive into some common questions and give you the answers you are looking for.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox (which is also known as orthopoxvirus) is a virus. According to the WHO monkeypox has similar symptoms to smallpox but is less severe. It is a zoonosis disease meaning that it was transmitted from animals to humans.
What are the Symptoms of Monkeypox?
The most common symptom of monkeypox is a rash and / or sores. They can be itchy and painful. The rash and / or sores could be localized to just certain parts of the body such as the face, hands, feet, mouth, and genitals or it could be all over the body. People who are infected may also experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and fatigue before or at the same time as the rash. Symptoms normally appear within two weeks to three weeks of being exposed. Monkeypox is contagious for an average of two to four weeks, until the rash and / or sores have all healed.
How is Monkeypox Spread?
The monkeypox virus is commonly transmitted through direct contact with someone who has the virus, contact with personal items of someone who has the virus, or through respiratory droplets. Monkeypox can be spread by sex or other intimate activities such as oral, anal, or vaginal sex, hugging, kissing, cuddling, massage, and contact with bedding or other items of someone with the virus.
What Do You Do If You Have Monkeypox?
If you think you may have monkeypox then you should isolate yourself away from others and call a healthcare provider. Wear a face mask and cover the sores with clothing if you go to see a healthcare provider. The test for monkeypox involves a simple swab of the rash or sores. Avoid any intimate contact and sharing any personal items with others. If you must be around others in your household wear a face mask and clothing over your rash. Be diligent about hand hygiene, keeping items separate, and washing any shared surfaces.
For more information on the monkeypox virus visit the WHO website by clicking here.
- World Health Organization. (n.d.). Monkeypox. World Health Organization. Retrieved July 27, 2022