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All about Monkeypox

Monkeypox, or Mpox, is a rare disease generally caused by the Mpox virus. This virus mainly impacts rodents, such as mice or rats, or nonhuman primates, like monkeys. However, it may occur in humans. 

Monkeypox generally occurs in West and Central Africa. Cases outside of Africa are generally due to: 

  • Imported animals
  • International travel
  • Close contact with a person or animal with Mpox

Beginning in 2022, Mpox cases were reported in nations that don’t generally have Mpox, like the USA. The CDC, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continues to examine cases that have been reported throughout the globe, including the USA and Europe. 

Symptoms of Monkeypox

Mpox symptoms can begin 3-17 after you are exposed. The duration between when you are exposed and when you have symptoms is known as the incubation period. 

Mpox symptoms stay 2-4 weeks and can include: 

  • Skin rash
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Backaches and Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache

Almost 1-4 days after you start having a fever, a skin rash begins. The Monkeypox rash generally first appears on the feet, hands, and face and then spreads to other areas of the body. 

However, in cases connected to the outbreak that began in 2022, the rash generally started in the mouth, genital area, or throat. The monkeypox rash goes through various stages; flat spots change into blisters. The blisters fill with yellow pus, scab over, and fall off over a period of two weeks to a month. 

You may spread Monkeypox while you have symptoms. Inform your healthcare expert immediately if you have a new rash or any Mpox signs, even if you don’t know anyone with Monkeypox. 

Causes of spreading Mpox virus

The virus spreads via close contact with an infected person or animal. It may spread when a person handles materials like blankets that have been in close contact with someone with Mpox. 

The Mpox virus transmits from person to person through: 

  • Infected pregnant women may spread the Mpox virus to a fetus. 
  • Direct contact with body fluids, scabs, or rashes of a person with Mpox. 
  • Blankets, clothes, sheets, or other materials that have been in close contact with body fluids or rashes of an infected person. 

Mpox generally spreads from an animal to a person through: 

  • Animal scratches or bites
  • Wild game that’s cooked for food
  • Products, such as furs or skins, made of infected animals. 
  • Close contact with rashes or body fluids of animals with Mpox. 

What should I do to prevent becoming infected with or spreading the Mpox virus?

Follow these steps to prevent infection with or spread of the Mpox virus: 

  • It would help if you avoided close contact with those who have a rash that seems like Mpox. 
  • Avoid handling blankets, clothes, sheets, or other materials that have been in contact with an infected person or animal.
  • Isolate individuals who have Mpox from healthy individuals. 
  • Wash your hands with clean water and soap after any contact with an infected animal or person. If soap and water are not available, you may use an alcohol-based- sanitizer or handwash. 
  • Few smallpox vaccines may prevent Mpox, including the Jynneos vaccines and ACAM2000. 

These vaccines can help prevent Mpox as Mpox and smallpox are caused by related viruses. Healthcare experts can suggest that individuals who have been exposed to Mpox get vaccinated. Few people who are in danger of exposure to the virus in their work, such as laboratory workers, can get vaccinated, too. 

The CDC does not recommend that every people get vaccinated against Monkeypox at this time. 

Complications of Mpox

Mpox complications may include: 

  • Blindness
  • Death, in a few cases
  • Other infections
  • Severe scars on the arm, face, and legs

Treatment for Mpox

Various treatments for Mpox aim to relieve symptoms. Care can include managing skin damage from the rash, consuming enough liquids to help keep stool soft, and pain alleviation. 

If you suffer from Mpox, you should isolate yourself at home in a separate room from family members and pets until your scabs and rash heal. There is no particular treatment approved for Monekypox. Healthcare experts can treat Mpox with a few antiviral medicines used to treat smallpox, such as Tembexa [brincidofovir] or TPOXX [tecovirimat]. 

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