What is Monkeypox?
- Currently monkeypox is spreading in MSM rapidly.
- Having multiple or anonymous sexual partners is a risk for getting infected.
- Monkeypox usually presents as a rash with mild symptoms of infection.
- The rash may last for one month, and is transmissible the entire time.
- Monkeypox is usually transmitted by contact with an infected person or with fabric that has had contact with an infected person’s lesion such as clothing, bedding, or towels.
- Monkeypox is currently spreading rapidly around the world, primarily in Europe and the United States. There have been 14,511 cases and some deaths as of July 20 2022. [A]
- While anyone can be infected with monkeypox, the vast majority of monkeypox cases so far have been among men who have sex with men.
- People who can be the most vulnerable to monkeypox are immunocompromised including HIV-positive people, pregnant people, children, or those with skin conditions
- Death rarely occurs
- NO skin-to-skin contact = very unlikely infection
What does Monkeypox Look Like?
- The most noticeable sign of monkeypox are skin lesions. Lesions often begin as small, flat lesions, then firm, raised lesions that may look like pustules, fluid-filled or umbilicated, and finally becomes a scab. When the scab naturally falls off and new skin is underneath, the person is no longer infectious.
- Lesion appearance can vary. They may be itchy or painful.
- Lesions may be in a single area, usually around the genitals, anus, or mouth, scattered around the body, or on the hands or feet.
- People with monkeypox may also experience fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes.
How Do I Know If I Have Monkeypox?
- Consider if you have been at risk of infection.
- Risk is increased by having multiple or anonymous sexual partners.
- Infection is much more likely if you have had skin-to-skin contact in the last three weeks.
- Do you feel ill with a fever, headache, muscle aches, or swelling of lymph nodes?
- Do you have a rash? Do you see any lesions on your body? The rash may even be a single lesion in the genital or perianal area.
- If you are concerned about having monkeypox you should be evaluated at a medical facility. A confirmed diagnosis can only be made by laboratory testing.
IMAGES OF INDIVIDUAL MONKEYPOX LESIONS
IMAGES OF INDIVIDUAL MONKEYPOX LESIONS
How is Monkeypox Spread?
- Monkeypox can be spread by contact with lesions on someone’s skin.
- Monkeypox can also be spread by touching contaminated objects, fabrics such as clothing, bedding, and towels, and surfaces that have been in contact with monkeypox.
- Monkeypox can be spread by contact with respiratory droplets or secretions from the eyes, nose, and mouth. Other bodily fluids may spread monkeypox.
How Can I Prevent Being Infected with Monkeypox?
- Avoiding skin-to-skin contact is key.
- Avoid close contact with people who may be infected with monkeypox.
- Avoid hugging, kissing, massaging, or talking closely with someone who may have monkeypox.
- Consider people’s risk of having monkeypox before engaging in any sexual activity.
- Multiple sexual partners or anonymous sex by your sexual partner increases your risk of being infected
- Do not touch fabrics, surfaces, or objects used by someone who may be infected with monkeypox.
- If you think you have had contact with a person who has monkeypox, or have had other high-risk contacts, you should find out where you can get the vaccine.
- The number of infected individuals is small at this point, utilize prevention methods to keep yourself safe and stop the spread of monkeypox.
What is the Treatment for Monkeypox?
- Monkeypox rarely needs treatment, though several medications exist.
- Monkeypox is usually self-limiting so self-isolation is the main treatment for those infected during the current monkeypox 2022 outbreak.
- US government has monkeypox treatment in limited supply and is supplying it to providers when needed.
- People who develop lesions in the genital or anal area are more likely to need treatment
- If you had contact with someone you suspect to have had monkeypox, contact your provider or local health department for testing
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