The History of Monkeypox.
One of the most commonly asked questions seems to be, “where did monkeypox come from?” Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by an infection with the monkeypox virus (a virus in the same family as the variola virus, with similar symptoms to smallpox but less severe and rarely fatal).
The virus was discovered in 1958, with the first human case of the infection in 1970 in Africa. Before 2022, infections were limited to central and western African countries, with a few outliers linked to international travel.
What are common Monkeypox symptoms?
The most common symptoms of Monkeypox are as follows; if you are infected with Monkeypox, you will experience:
Pimples/blisters – like a rash that can be painful and/or itchy. It usually goes through several stages (blister/pimple, scabbing, healing). The rash can present at any area of the body but is most commonly on or near the genitals or anus. It also can be present on the hands, feet, chest, face, and mouth.
Systemic symptoms such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches, headache, respiratory symptoms
The CDC estimates the incubation period between exposure and rash onset to be nine days on average. The first signs of the disease include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches and backache
- Respiratory symptoms (sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
If you or someone you know has Monkeypox signs, please immediately contact an urgent care clinic or your primary medical provider.
How is Monkeypox transmitted?
Monkeypox is mainly transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal or with material that has been contaminated with the virus. Intimate contact or skin or skin contact can be classified as:
- Directly touching rash/scab/body fluids of a person with Monkeypox (sexual contact, hugging, massaging, kissing)
- Touching objects, fabrics, surfaces that someone with Monkeypox has used
- Contact with respiratory secretions of a person with Monkeypox
- Or the virus can also be spread during pregnancy through the placenta
If you have monkeypox symptoms starting within three weeks of exposure to the virus. It can spread when symptoms begin until the rash has healed (all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Monkeypox symptoms usually last between two to four weeks.
Is there a Monkeypox treatment?
There is no specific treatment for Monkeypox. Bandaids and coverings can be placed over any lesions to avoid spreading. Tylenol and NSAIDs can be used for pain relief and fever control. Prescription mouthwashes can be used to alleviate any discomfort in the case of oral lesions. It is also crucial not to pop any pimples or scratch the rashes.
How to prevent getting Monkeypox?
Preventing the spread of Monkeypox is everyone’s responsibility. Please take the following precautionary steps to help stop the spread of Monkeypox and prevent infecting your loved ones as well:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people with a rash that looks like Monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with Monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with Monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with Monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch a person with Monkeypox’s bedding, towels, or clothing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
What should I do if I have Monkeypox?
If you or someone you know has been medically confirmed as someone infected with Monkeypox. In that case, you should immediately isolate yourself at home and avoid contact with public spaces and events. Additionally, if you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.
Can I get a vaccination for Monkeypox?
The World Health Organization recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to Monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to Monkeypox, including:
- People who public health officials have identified as contact with someone with MonkeypoxDo not touch the rash or scabs of a person with Monkeypox.
- People who may have been exposed to Monkeypox, such as:
- People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past two weeks has been diagnosed with Monkeypox
- People who had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks in an area with known Monkeypox
- People whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses, such as:
- Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses
- Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses
- Some designated healthcare or public health workers
Urgent care for Monkeypox recovery
Nao Medical offers swab testing for Monkeypox. We’re conveniently located in NYC, with the option to walk in or make an appointment outside of regular business hours.
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