Monkeypox is a rare virus that was initially found in the Republic of Congo, but has spread to other countries in Africa. With the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reporting a total of 1,462 cases of this in humans, it is crucial to know what it is, how you can be infected, and when it is safe to go outside again.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that is similar to smallpox. However, is usually much less severe. The last outbreak of monkeypox in the United States occurred in 2003, and there have been only a handful of cases since then.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and a rash. The rash starts out as small red bumps and eventually turns into blisters. Monkeypox is generally not fatal, but it can be deadly in young children or people with weakened immune systems, but rest and fluids can help relieve symptoms.
How Do I Know If I Have It?
There are a few ways to know if you have monkeypox. The first is through symptoms. Symptoms can take anywhere from 7-21 days to show up and include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swelling of lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash may also develop and will start as flat red spots on the face that spread to the rest of the body. The spots then fill with fluid and turn into blisters.
How Is It Treated?
There is no known cure for monkeypox, but there are treatments that can help to lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness. Treatment typically includes rest, hydration, and pain relief. In more severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary. Antibiotics may also be prescribed in an effort to prevent secondary bacterial infections.
What Causes Monkeypox?
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of monkeypox. One of the most important is exposure to infected animals. This can happen through contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or skin of an infected animal. It can also happen if you come in contact with something that has been contaminated with the virus, such as bedding or clothing.
Another factor that can play a role in the development of monkeypox is your immune status. If you have a weakened immune system, you may be more likely to develop monkeypox. This is one of the reasons why the virus tends to be more severe in children than adults.
Once you have been exposed to the virus, it can take anywhere from 5-21 days for symptoms to develop. The first signs of monkeypox are usually fever, headache, and muscle aches. These are followed by a rash that begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. The rash typically starts as small red bumps and progresses to larger blisters filled with fluid. In some cases, the rash can be so severe that it leads to death.
Monkeypox is a serious viral illness that can be fatal. The best way to prevent, is to avoid contact with infected animals or people. If you must handle an infected animal, wear gloves and a mask. If you think you have been exposed to monkeypox, see a doctor immediately and tell them about your exposure. There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but early diagnosis and treatment can improve your chances of recovery.