In late-July, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Monkeypox a global health emergency, including the United States. The following information will help us understand what Monkeypox is, what the risk factors are, and how MIAD will approach the disease.
FROM THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC)
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is a part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder.
- new, unexplained rash that develops into hard, round, fluid or pus-filled skin lesions
- swollen lymph nodes
- muscle aches
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
MONKEYPOX RISK FACTORS
Direct skin-to-skin contact, including sexual and/or close intimate contact, has been identified as a predominant type of exposure for persons with monkeypox in the United States.
Transmission during brief interactions (such as a brief conversation), between people in close proximity and for a long duration (such as passengers seated near a person with monkeypox on an airplane), or during healthcare encounters, has not been reported for any person with monkeypox.
Most people with monkeypox have been adults and have not required hospitalization.
MONKEYPOX PREVENTION STEPS
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
- Do not share eating utensils, cups or toothbrushes with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
- Use safer sex practices:
MONKEYPOX TESTING AND VACCINATION
Monkeypox is a known disease, with existing testing and a vaccine. However, vaccination supplies are currently limited, so broad vaccination is currently not possible. Those who feel they are at risk for monkeypox should contact their physician for guidance.
IF YOU ARE SICK:
- Work with your physician to confirm that you have monkeypox
- Follow the CDC guidelines for treating monkeypox
- Work with MIAD’s Student Services to determine the best course of action for you while you recover. Most people with Monkeypox recover in 2-4 weeks without medical treatment, so an isolation similar to coronavirus might be impractical. MIAD staff will consult with you and your doctor on an appropriate course of action.
For more information contact: Mark Fetherston, firstname.lastname@example.org