Updated: Nov 21, 2022
By Samantha Padilla
Confirmed in May of 2022 an outbreak of a viral disease known as monkeypox. According to cdc.gov, there are around forty-four thousand global cases and around sixteen thousand U.S. cases, with California having some of the highest numbers of reported cases in the U.S.
What is Monkeypox?
First discovered in 1958, monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. This virus is a member of the orthopoxvirus genus, which also includes the smallpox virus. At the moment, evidence suggests that men in the LGBTQ community that are sexually active with other men make up the majority of confirmed cases. However, anyone that has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is in danger, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Monkeypox spreads by:
Direct contact with rashes, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
Contact with respiratory secretions.
Hugging, massage, and kissing.
Prolonged face-to-face contact
Individuals can contract monkeypox from diseased animals by being bitten or scratched by them, preparing or consuming meat from them, or using their products.
Symptoms of Monkeypox.
Depending on the individual you may experience all or only a few symptoms. Some people may have flu-like symptoms before the rash, some may get the rash first followed by other symptoms, and others may only get rashes. After being exposed to the virus, symptoms usually appear within three weeks. When experiencing flu-like symptoms, a rash typically appears 1-4 days later. Until the rash has healed, all scabs have come off, and a new layer of skin has formed, monkeypox can spread from person to person. Usually, the disease lasts two to four weeks.
Swollen lymph nodes
Muscle aches and backache
Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
Rashes that begin as flat spots that turn into bumps, which then fill with fluid
Sometimes the virus can make a person very ill
Monkeypox can be spread in a number of ways. People can contract the monkeypox virus from diseased animals, and inverely infected individuals may also pass it on to animals through close contact. In order to stay safe when going out and at home, we must ensure to follow rules and take extra precautions.
How to Avoid Monkeypox:
Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
Wash your hands often.
The preferred vaccine to protect against monkeypox is JYNNEOS, which is a two-dose vaccine. An alternative is the ACAM2000 vaccine, which is a single-dose vaccine.
Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when around others.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Avoid contact with infected animals (especially sick or dead animals).
Thoroughly cook all foods that contain animal meat or parts.
For practically everyone, the global pandemic placed the world on hold. As this wave of monkeypox approaches, it is better to be safe than sorry.