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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

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IMAGES OF INDIVIDUAL MONKEYPOX LESIONS

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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

Sources

A. CDC. Monkeypox Outbreak Global Map. Updated daily, accessed July 1, 2022.
Available online: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/world-map.html.