There are no reported cases of monkeypox at St. Anne’s.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
Signs & Symptoms
People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches and backache
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
- You may experience all or only a few symptoms:
Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
Others only experience a rash.
How long do monkeypox symptoms last?
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.
Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
How It Spreads
Monkeypox spreads in a few ways:
- Close, personal or intimate contact (often skin-to-skin) including:
- Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
- Contact with respiratory secretions.
- A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
- Infected animals
- It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
- Scientists are still researching others ways the virus can be spread including when no symptoms are present, bodily fluids and respiratory secretions
At this time, data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases in the current monkeypox outbreak. However, anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.
Following the recommended prevention steps and getting vaccinated if you were exposed to monkeypox or are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox can help protect you and your community.
Monkeypox Prevention Steps
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
In the U.S., two vaccines may be used to prevent monkeypox (JYNNEOS and ACAM2000).
Vaccination is an important tool in preventing the spread of monkeypox.
Because it’s not known how effective these vaccines will be in the current outbreak, people who are vaccinated are encouraged to continue to protect themselves from infection by avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact, including intimate contact, with someone who has monkeypox.
Currently, testing is only recommended if you have a rash consistent with monkeypox.
If you think you have monkeypox or have had close personal contact with someone who has monkeypox, consider taking precautions and visit a healthcare provider to help you decide if you need to be tested for monkeypox.