How to Prevent Contracting Monkeypox

How to Prevent Contracting Monkeypox

What exactly is Monkeypox Virus? 

 

So just what is monkeypox?  It’s a variation of the variola virus, the same subset of viruses that cause smallpox, albeit much less severe. Symptoms are similar to smallpox but much milder as monkeypox is rarely fatal. The pathogen is a viral zoonosis, meaning a disease that originates in animals and is transmitted to human populations. It is most commonly found in regions of Africa, where urban areas lie in close proximity to tropical rainforests. Despite its name, the origin of the pathogen remains a mystery. It is believed that both rodents and primates play host to the virus. Even with most cases originating in Africa, it remains a global concern. The first case outside of Africa occurred in the United States in 2003 and was traced back to pet prairie dogs being housed with infected African rodents1. Most cases outside Africa are from just this, infected animals or pets exported elsewhere thus facilitating transmission. Since the first outbreak, more and more are being reported in non-endemic countries. If you have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms the CDC recommends you avoid sharing things, touching others, and scratching your rash until you’ve met with a healthcare provider. 

 

What are the symptoms of MPV?

 

The symptoms of monkeypox involve a rash that is usually located on or around the genitals and anus. It can also affect other areas such as hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The rash will proceed through several stages, including scabbing over before finally healing. It most often appears as blisters or pimples and can be both itchy and painful. Other symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle ache, primarily in the back
  • Headache
  • Respiratory issues such as congestion, cough, and sore throat

Symptoms do vary from person to person. You may experience one, or many, but exposure almost always results in or starts with the rash. The incubation period typically lasts around 3 weeks after exposure to the virus. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, a rash usually follows 3-4 days later. It is infectious upon showing symptoms up to the point when the rash is completely healed.

How to stay safe

Due to its similarity with smallpox, the smallpox vaccine has shown to be successful in entirely preventing infection or making the illness milder. That being said, the two-dose vaccine is still highly limited. The best approach is prevention through awareness, so let’s discuss how it’s spread. The CDC has listed three steps to protect yourself, the first being skin-to-skin contact. Avoid close contact with individuals who have visible rashes resembling monkeypox. Remember, it can be spread through the scabs of an infected individual. Secondly, avoid cross-contamination. Do not touch objects that have been used by infected individuals. Especially avoid contact with eating utensils, cups, and bedding. Lastly, wash your hands often. Use soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizers. Awareness is the best approach.

Is there treatment for MPV?

Currently, there is no treatment specific for monkeypox. Prevention is still the best option.  Due to the virus’s similarity with smallpox, antiviral drugs designed to treat smallpox have been shown to treat monkeypox effectively. TPOXX has been prescribed to treat symptoms of monkeypox and is available if symptoms are severe enough2. If you are experiencing monkeypox symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek a healthcare provider. At select Rume locations, we are equipped to provide MPV testing to slow the spread of the virus.

Rume’s response to MPV

The Rume Response Team launches monkeypox testing in response to an emerging global threat. We are prepared and equipped to respond to other potential future crises.

 

  1. Monkeypox – the United States of America
  2. Patient’s Guide to Monkeypox Treatment with TPOXX | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC

Related topics:

Welcome to Rume
Rume was born with the vision of adapting to the more long-term healthcare needs of patients across the country.
Disease X
Disease X. A title dripping in mystery, the name itself an enigma. After all, It sounds more grounded in science fiction than reality.
How to Prevent Contracting Monkeypox
So just what is monkeypox? It’s a variation of the variola virus, the same subset of viruses that cause smallpox, albeit much less severe.

Subscribe for updates