Recently, the monkeypox outbreak has been declared a public health emergency in the United States. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of Monkeypox and answer some common questions.
Monkeypox is a virus related to other poxviruses, including smallpox and cowpox. In addition to causing pimple or blister-like lesions, it can cause flu-like symptoms. It usually affects rodents and primates such as monkeys but can infect humans too.
Usually, monkeypox occurs in central and west Africa, but recently there have been outbreaks across Europe and the United States.
The symptoms of the virus usually start 5 to 21 days after exposure, known as the incubation period. Patients often then develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, and muscle aches.
About 5 days later, patients develop a pimple or blister-like rash. Typically the rash is located on the arms and legs, but it can also occur on the genitals and perianal area, which is what is frequently showing up with the current outbreak.
Usually, monkeypox symptoms resolve within 2-4 weeks.
Monkeypox is spread by having close contact with someone who has the virus. This can include direct physical contact with someone who has lesions, respiratory secretions through face-to-face interactions, and touching objects that have been someone with the virus has contaminated. Monkeypox can also be spread through sexual contact.
Those who are at high risk of infection are people who have had contact with someone who has the virus. The current outbreak has been affecting men who have sex with men disproportionately. Public health officials are focusing on prevention efforts specifically for this population.
Other people vulnerable to the virus include those with weakened immune systems and children under the age of 8. They also may experience a higher risk of severe illness if infected.
If you notice a blister-like rash or any of the other monkeypox symptoms, it is essential to be diagnosed by your physician. Avoid any close contact with others until diagnosed.
At Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches, we offer monkeypox testing at all of our locations. We can diagnose the condition so you can take steps to prevent the spread of infection.
If you are diagnosed, it is recommended to isolate yourself at home, away from family until the rash or lesions are gone.
Currently, there is no specific approved treatment for monkeypox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Still, because it is genetically similar to smallpox, physicians use similar antiviral medications in some patients.
These antiviral medications are only available for those at risk of severe disease currently. For most, treatment should focus on symptom management.
Two vaccines effectively prevent monkeypox, but not all are eligible to receive one as it is currently limited.
People who are known to have been in contact with an individual with a confirmed case of monkeypox are eligible. Other people who may be eligible are those who have had a sex partner in the last 14 days who live in areas where monkeypox is spreading.
First, it is important to receive the proper diagnosis. At Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches, we offer telemedicine urgent care, so you can receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations without leaving your home.
The test will be done at curbside in the car. The results will be available in 2-4 days.
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.
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