Facts about monkeypox

August 22, 2022
Staff Report

Symptoms of monkeypox:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
Facts about monkeypox

This digitally-colorized electron microscopic image depicted monkeypox virus particles, obtained from a clinical sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. It was a thin section image from of a human skin sample. On the left were mature, oval-shaped virus particles, and on the right were the crescents, and spherical particles of immature virions. (CDC/Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery, Hannah Bullock)

More facts about monkeypox:

  • 98% of reported cases are in men, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Monkeypox is rare but can spread quickly through close, personal contact with someone who is infected or contact with material (e.g., bedding or clothing) that is contaminated with the virus.
  • Monkeypox does not spread through:
  • Casual conversation with someone who is infected
  • Walking by someone who is infected
  • The virus usually lasts 2-4 weeks and is contagious from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed. 
  • The monkeypox rash can look like blisters or pimples; spots may be itchy or painful.
  • The rash may be located on or near the genitals but can also appear on the hands, feet, chest, face or mouth.
  • Humans and animals can spread monkeypox to each other through close contact. People with monkeypox should avoid contact with animals, including pets, domestic animals and wildlife.
  • Despite its name and the fact that it was first discovered in colonies of research monkeys, the source of the disease remains unknown.
  • The first human case was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. 
  • If you or someone you live with has monkeypox or has been exposed to it, thoroughly disinfect your home. Orthopoxviruses can survive weeks or months in a typical household environment, especially in areas that are dark, cool and have low humidity.
  • The national supply of monkeypox vaccine is severely limited and vaccination is limited to those determined to be at greatest risk for contracting the virus.
  • Monkeypox is an Orthopoxvirus like smallpox, but monkeypox symptoms are milder and it rarely is fatal.

Sources: Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Virginia Department of Health, World Health Organization

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