Monkeypox is making headlines and alerting health experts as cases appear in the United States. So, what is monkeypox?
Monkeypox, a viral disease passed to animals and humans, is very rare in the United States. It’s usually found in Central and West Africa. As monkeypox cases rise in Europe and the United States, health authorities are expressing concern about the unusual uptick.
Signs and Symptoms
The incubation period from infection to symptoms of monkeypox is usually 7-14 days, and the illness lasts for 2-4 weeks.
Monkeypox symptoms are similar but milder than those of smallpox. The illness begins with the following symptoms:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Within 1-3 days after a fever begins, people may develop a rash starting on the face and then spreading to other body parts
There is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. However, most people recover in 2-4 weeks.
Transmission of monkeypox occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, eyes, nose or mouth. According to the CDC and WHO, the smallpox vaccine is 85% effective in preventing monkeypox infection.
Consider the following measures to prevent infection with monkeypox:
- Avoid contact with (live or dead) animals that could harbor the virus.
- Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have been in contact with a sick animal.
- Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
- Practice good hand hygiene—washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer— after contact with infected animals or humans.
- Use personal protective equipment when caring for patients.
Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for more information about monkeypox. If you have health concerns, contact your doctor.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional. © 2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved