What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?
The main symptom is a rash that is commonly on or near the genitals but can be on other areas such as the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. Other symptoms include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle and backache, headache, and respiratory symptoms. The other symptoms can occur before or after the onset of the rash, or not at all. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. It is rarely fatal in the setting of effective healthcare.
How is Monkeypox transmitted?
Here’s where the big difference is when comparing Monkeypox to COVID. Monkeypox is typically transmitted only with close physical contact, such as sexual contact. It can also spread by contact with objects or surfaces that have been used by someone with the disease. Transmission by respiratory secretions is believed to occur but seems to be uncommon, this is being further investigated. We don’t know whether it can be spread from someone without symptoms and that is also being researched. At the time of this writing, the infection is being seen mostly in gay and bisexual men. Therefore, this group should be extra vigilant in monitoring for symptoms and take precautions to limit their exposure.
What precautions should people know about?
Avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone with a rash that looks like Monkeypox and avoid sharing objects or clothing that someone with a rash has used. Frequent hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also recommended.
When should you see or call your physician?
If you become aware that someone you have had contact with has been diagnosed with Monkeypox or notice a rash or other symptom consistent with the disease as noted above, you should let your physician know.
Are treatments available for Monkeypox?
There is one antiviral medication called Tecovirimat which is not widely available at this time. Also, administration of a Monkeypox vaccine may well reduce symptoms or even prevent the disease even if given after exposure.
Is there a Monkeypox vaccine?
There are two types of vaccines that can be used to prevent Monkeypox. At this time, these are recommended for people who have a known exposure to someone with Monkeypox, especially those who have engaged in sexual activity with someone affected by the virus. Laboratory workers and some other dedicated public health workers are also recommended to get the vaccine.
Can COPC test for Monkeypox?
Yes, the COPC laboratory has the ability to do this, so your doctor can order the test for you if needed.
Does COPC carry the vaccine?
At this time, COPC does not carry the vaccine.
Where can I get the vaccine if needed?
Currently, the Monkeypox vaccine is available through your Public Health Department.
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