What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and Monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?
Symptoms of Monkeypox can include:
-Muscle aches and backache
-Swollen lymph nodes
A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
How long do symptoms last?
The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others may only experience a rash.
How does someone get infected with the Monkeypox virus?
Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to--person through:
-direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or bodily fluids.
-respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.
-touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.
-pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through placenta.
What should I do if I think I have symptoms?
Contact your healthcare provider. You should call ahead if visiting a hospital emergency room or walk in clinic to notify them that you may be infected with Monkeypox virus.
Is there testing available to see if I am infected?
Diagnostic testing for Monkeypox is now available from commercial laboratories, including Aegis Sciences, LabCorp, Mayo Clinic, Quest, and Sonic Healthcare. Healthcare providers can order testing from these laboratories as they would order other diagnostic tests.
How to protect yourself
Take the following steps to prevent getting Monkeypox:
Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have 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.
Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with Monkeypox has used.
-Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with Monkeypox.
-Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with Monkeypox.
Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
CDC Monkeypox Homepage: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html
2022 U.S. Map & Case Count: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/us-map.html
CT Department of Public Health's Monkeypox Homepage: https://portal.ct.gov/dph/epidemiology-and-emerging-infections/ct-monkeypox