What is monkeypox? What are the symptoms of monkeypox, what to do if you are infected or exposed?

Today, the CDC is warning people about a new disease called Monkeypox. This is an infection that causes red bumps to form all over your body. These bumps can cause severe pain and can even break open, causing fluid to leak out. This condition may not be deadly, but it’s definitely serious because it can be spread from person to person through contact with secretions like saliva or feces (poop).

Monkeypox was first discovered in the U.S., but now there have been cases reported from other countries around the world such as Ukraine and Russia.

What is  monkeypox? What are the symptoms of monkeypox, what to do if you are infected or exposed?

Symptoms of Monkeypox

Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting viral infection with a rash that can be painful to the body. Most people recover from this on their own after a few weeks.

But in some situations, people can get very sick, or even die.

People usually develop symptoms 5 to 21 days after exposure to the monkeypox virus, i.e. it develops in the human body.

Keep in mind, symptoms usually last 2 to 4 weeks and can go through different stages.

Also, the rash can be painful and affect any part of the body, such as:

  • face
  • genitalia
  • Perianal
  • in the mouth
  • arms and legs
  • two legs
  • hand

The symptoms of this disease, namely, the rash, usually last between 14 and 28 days and may vary in stages.
The rash eventually forms a scab which then falls off. Along with the common symptoms of a rash, there may be more symptoms such as:
  • fever
  • the cold
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • back pain
  • tiredness
You can be contagious from the onset of the first symptoms until the scabs fall off on their own and the skin heals.

If symptoms appear in the body
  • Isolate at home away from others
  • Be sure to contact your healthcare provider or local public health authority immediately for advice on what to do

monkeypox medical examination

You should contact your healthcare provider to be evaluated and tested for monkeypox virus infection.

When to test: You may test for monkeypox infection based on a combination of factors, such as:
Signs and symptoms
Risk factors such as:
Exposure of a case
travel history
Remember, monkeypox infections can appear like other infectious diseases, such as chickenpox, or several sexually transmitted infections (such as herpes or gonorrhea). Hence, this is why it is so important to consult and check with a healthcare provider.

Vaccines and Treatments

Treatment of monkeypox infection is mainly supportive, and includes:
  • wound care
  • pain control
Of note, limited data are available on the clinical efficacy of specific antiviral treatments for monkeypox infection in humans for treatment of bacterial superinfections and other complications. And these antivirals were first developed to treat smallpox. Studies show that in some cases, they can also help treat monkeypox.

In addition, the Imvaimmune vaccine is approved by Health Canada to vaccinate against monkeypox and orthopoxvirus infections in persons 18 years of age and older who are at high risk of exposure.

Learn about its clinical implications The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that Imvaimmune vaccine be given to people with high-risk exposure to a probable or confirmed case of monkeypox or in a setting where infection is occurring.

And provinces and territories determine their immunization programs based on their unique circumstances. So contact your local public health authority to know more about this.

Note: This article is for educational purposes only. Consult a doctor for any physical problem you have.

See Also:

What to do in case of monkeypox infection

If you have been infected with the monkeypox virus, contact your local public health authority and you may need to be isolated to prevent further spread. In this case, depending on your living conditions, they may recommend isolating you at home or elsewhere. Remember, the word "home" will be used to refer to your isolated location.

It is extremely important that you continue to follow your local public health authority's isolation advice, including the length of time they recommend. When isolating, be sure to follow measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others in your household.

Isolation requirements and recommendations may vary across federal, provincial, regional and local public health authorities as the country's situation changes.

When your home is isolated

Follow the instructions given about isolation: In this case, follow the advice of your local public health authority.

Stay isolated until they give you approval that you no longer need to be isolated.

Usually this happens once:
  • And notice that your scams fall by themselves
  • Your skin heals and has a light pink or shiny pearly appearance
Cut off contact with people :
As much as possible, avoid contact with at-risk people, such as:
Children under 12 years of age
Immunocompromised individuals
pregnant mother
Also, avoid directly touching other people with sexual contact. Once your abstinence period is over, use a condom during any sexual contact, including oral and non-penetrative contact, for 12 weeks to be safe.
Strictly limit contact with others outside the home. This includes not having visitors inside the home other than your health care provider (if necessary).

Avoid contact with pets:
Avoid contact with pets and livestock if you can. Ask someone else in your family to take care of these animals. Remember, if this is not possible, you should:
Cover all your wounds with cloth or bandages
Use a well-fitting medical mask and gloves when around animals.
Keep high-touch surfaces and objects clean and disinfected frequently. Also avoid all contact with wildlife around your home.
This will help limit the potential risk of introducing the monkeypox virus to other animals.

Isolate in a separate place if at home
Avoid leaving your home unless it is an emergency. Tell your healthcare provider about your infection before an in-person appointment, when possible.

Deliver essential items, such as medicine or groceries, to your home as often as possible.

Isolate in a separate location. For example, use a private room for sleeping and a separate washroom whenever possible, especially if you have:
Breathing symptoms, especially if you have sores in your mouth or throat
Hard to cover wounds like face
Crying wound
If a private room for sleeping is not available, separate your bed from others as much as possible.

If a separate washroom is not available, you should:
Clean and disinfect all surfaces and objects you touch
Do not share used towels with other people
Immediately remove and wash the used towel
Avoid areas that are shared with others in the family. If you must use shared spaces, wear a well-fitting medical mask, make sure your wounds are well covered, and clean and disinfect surfaces and objects after use.

Avoid sharing items that may be contaminated
Do not share items that may be contaminated with viruses, including:
the towel
the needle
sex toys
Any other item

Cover your wound and wear a mask
Cover all of your wounds with clothing or bandages as much as possible.

Wear a well-fitting medical mask when around others. For example, in a shared space or while caring. When this is not possible, other family members should wear an appropriate medical mask when in a shared space with you.

Clean your hands and cover coughs and sneezes in this case
Clean your hands properly and often.

You should also:
Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your arm, not your hand, unless you're wearing a mask
Discard your used tissues in a plastic-lined waste container as soon as possible
Clean your hands immediately.

Keep your environment clean
Clean and disinfect all surfaces and objects you come in contact with.
Handle and wash your own clothes, bedding, towels and other laundry, unless you are unable to do so.
Handle your own used utensils and dishes, unless you are unable to do so.

Postpone non-urgent appointments
You will refrain from donating anything, i.e. not donating blood or any other body fluids (including sperm) or tissue.
Postpone all non-urgent medical visits and procedures.

Seek advice if you are breastfeeding
If you are breastfeeding, consult your healthcare provider for advice.

General rules for caring for someone with a monkeypox infection at home

Remember, ideally, only one person at home should provide care to the isolated person. Because it will help reduce the risk of spreading the monkeypox virus to others.

Notably in this case, the guardian should not be a person who is considered vulnerable, including persons who:
  • pregnant
  • Immunocompromised
  • Under 12 years of age
Watch for signs or symptoms of monkeypox infection for 21 days after your last contact with the person you are caring for. Isolate immediately if signs or symptoms occur and follow their instructions by contacting your local public health authority.

Important: Reduce your risk of becoming infected by avoiding:

Such as close physical contact with the person you care for
Sharing personal items with someone you care for, such as:
  • Razor
  • the needle
  • sex toys
  • Toothbrush
Also coming into contact with clothing, towels or bedding used by the person you are caring for
Using utensils and dishes used by the person you are caring for

You will also be responsible for:
Wash your hands properly and frequently when sick
Take care to frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces and objects
Especially when communicating with someone you care about

If you cannot avoid close contact with someone you care about
Wear a well-fitting medical mask
Wear disposable gloves and cover exposed skin with long clothing during direct contact with wounds

Long dresses may include:
  • an expatriate
  • Full length pants
  • Shirt with long sleeves
Remove and wash your clothes immediately after providing care to avoid infecting yourself or others or contaminating surfaces and objects.
Follow hand and environmental hygiene recommendations

If you are infected and exposed

If you know you have been in contact with someone infected with monkeypox, contact your local public health authority immediately. Your local public health authority may also tell you if you have been in contact with someone infected with the monkeypox virus. They will give you instructions on what to do and how to reduce the risk of further spread.

Instructions may vary depending on your exposure risk level, which can range from low to high risk.

In some cases, you may be directed to:
Check for monkeypox infection
Contact your health care provider or vaccination clinic for post-exposure vaccinations depending on the type of exposure.
Watch for symptoms for 21 days after your exposure. Avoid taking medications known to reduce fever, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and acetylsalicylic acid. They can mask an early symptom of monkeypox infection.

If you develop symptoms of monkeypox infection, isolate immediately and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider. Tell your healthcare provider that you are exposed before an in-person appointment, when possible.

Continue to practice hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and safe sex during your self-monitoring period.

Help reduce the overall risk of exposure to monkeypox virus and common sexually transmitted infections by:

Reducing the number of sexual partners, especially those who are anonymous
Using condoms and other safe sex practices

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/monkeypox/symptoms-management.html

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