monkey pox | Washtenaw County, Michigan

Monkeypox (“MPV” or “MPX”) is a rare but potentially serious viral disease that can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with bodily fluids or monkeypox lesions/rashes.

While the current level of monkeypox activity in the United States is higher than what we normally see, the risk to the general population is low. People with monkeypox in the current outbreak generally report having had close and sustained physical contact with other people with monkeypox. It is important to be aware of the signs of monkeypox and to contact a health care provider as soon as possible if you are exposed or have symptoms.

Although anyone can get monkeypox if they come in close contact with someone who has monkeypox, many of those affected by current global outbreaks are gay, bisexual, or other men. having sex with men.

How is monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox can be passed from person to person through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rashes, sores, or scabs
  • Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox
  • Through respiratory droplets or oral fluids from a person with monkeypox during prolonged face-to-face contact
  • This contact can occur during intimate sexual contact, including:
    • Oral, anal, and vaginal intercourse or touching the genitals or anus of someone with monkeypox
    • Cuddling, massaging, kissing and talking tightly
    • Touching fabrics and objects during sex that have been used by someone with monkeypox, such as bedding, towels, and sex toys

Humans can also catch monkeypox from an infected animal through a bite or direct contact with the infected animal’s blood, body fluids, or wounds.

Monkeypox is not as contagious to COVID-19. It doesn’t spread from casual conversation or just walking past someone in a store. You must have prolonged physical contact or share your bedding or clothing with someone infected with the virus for it to spread.

How soon after exposure to monkeypox do symptoms begin?

The incubation period (time between infection and onset of symptoms) of monkeypox is usually 7 to 14 days, but can range from 5 to 21 days.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Monkeypox may look different at different stages. The disease can start with:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Back ache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

Within 1-3 days (sometimes longer), a rash (often starting on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body) appears. Sores go through several stages before falling off. The illness usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks. A person is considered contagious from the time symptoms begin until sores form, these scabs separate and a new layer of healthy skin forms underneath.

How serious is monkeypox?

Monkeypox can be serious, although most cases resolve on their own. The type of monkeypox seen in this current outbreak is rarely fatal, and more than 99% of people who contract this form of the disease are likely to survive.

However, certain groups are likely to be at higher risk for severe disease, including children under age 8, people with weakened immune systems or who are pregnant, and people with a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema.

Is there a treatment for monkeypox?

There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, although antivirals for smallpox can be used. Most infections last 2 to 4 weeks and go away without specific treatment.

And the vaccines?

There are vaccines against monkeypox. Vaccines can be given to prevent the disease. If someone has already been exposed, getting the monkeypox vaccination within 4 days can prevent the onset of illness. Getting vaccinated between 4 and 14 days after exposure can reduce the symptoms of the disease.

Vaccinessupplies are currently very limited in Michigan. For this reason, vaccines are prioritized for those who have been exposed. The vaccine used in Michigan is the Jynneos vaccine.

Tell your doctor or call the health department immediately if you have been exposed. Your health care provider can help you decide if you should get vaccinated, if available. As more doses become available, vaccine availability may expand to people who may be at high risk of exposure due to their number of sexual partners and/or frequenting places with cases. recent, or other factors. We’ll share vaccine updates here as we get them.

What should I do if I am exposed or have symptoms (such as a new unexplained rash)?

Avoid others (including pets) and contact your health care provider immediately. If you don’t have insurance or a health care provider, call the health department. Screening for monkeypox is available from local health care providers.

See our fact sheet on what to do if you have been exposed here.

How do you test for monkey pox?

Healthcare providers can’t always tell for sure if a rash is monkeypox just by looking at it. They will need to do skin swab tests to be sure. They may also do blood tests for other infections that may look like monkeypox, such as a syphilis test.

You must have a rash or sores to take a monkeypox test. The monkeypox test is done on your skin with a swab at a clinic or health care provider. The swab is rubbed against sores on your skin or parts of your rash, then sent to a specialist laboratory for monkeypox testing. A preliminary lab test result should be available within a few days.

See our fact sheet on what to do while waiting for monkeypox text results here.

What should I do if I am diagnosed with monkeypox?

Follow your healthcare provider’s treatment and prevention recommendations. Avoid close contact with anyone until all your wounds have healed and a new layer of skin has formed. See our fact sheet on what to do if you test positive here.

How to prevent monkeypox?

  • Avoid coming into contact with people recently diagnosed with the virus or those who may have been infected. Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with monkeypox-related rashes or sores.
  • Avoid contact with materials, such as bedding, that have been in contact with a sick animal or infected person.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with infected animals or humans.
  • Talk to your close physical and sexual contacts about their general health, such as rashes or recent sores.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for sick people, including respirators.
  • Avoid contact with animals that may harbor the virus (including sick animals or animals found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).

We also recommend that you get tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections. Syphilis and herpes are much more common than monkeypox – they look similar and should also be treated.

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