Just when you thought it was safe to book that adventure to the jungle--monkeypox rears its head.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "The CDC is tracking multiple cases of monkeypox that have been reported in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States."
The CDC is also urging healthcare providers in the United States to watch for patients who have rash illnesses that are consistent with monkeypox (we will get into what that means in a moment). They are working with state and local health officials to identify people who may have come into contact with other people who have tested positive for monkeypox. This is so that their health can be monitored.
The CDC does want people to know that "monkeypox is rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact. The threat of monkeypox to the general U.S. population remains LOW."
What is monkeypox?
The CDC says this about monkeypox:
"Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
"Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. Despite being named “monkeypox”, the source of the disease remains unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) may harbor the virus and infect people.
"The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in people in several other central and western African countries. Prior to the 2022 outbreak, nearly all monkeypox cases in people outside of Africa were linked to international travel to countries where the disease commonly occurs, or through imported animals."
The CDC reports that "monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox."
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
Muscle aches and backache
Swollen lymph nodes
A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. This process can take several weeks
Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
How it spreads
The CDC says that monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person to person through:
direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.
How to prevent getting monkeypox
Again, this information is from the CDC. "There is a number of measures that can be taken to prevent infection with monkeypox virus:
Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).
Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have been in contact with a sick
Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients."
We also recommend using Vital Oxide and the 2-step process to keep your living spaces clean and sanitized against not only monkeypox but against a host of known and unknown viruses, bacteria, and other nasty customers!
As of June 21, 2022 the total confirmed monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases in the United States is 142.
The CDC says, "There are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections.
"Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.
"If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox."
If you have questions about how Vital Oxide can help you lead a safer life, contact us and we will connect you with an agent near you who will be happy to assist you.