Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that can affect humans and animals. In this article, we will explore how monkeypox spreads between humans, the signs and symptoms of the disease, and ways to prevent its transmission.
Monkeypox: An Overview
Monkeypox is a viral disease that was first identified in monkeys in the 1950s. It is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, but is less severe. Monkeypox is found primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, but sporadic cases have also been reported in other parts of the world, including the United States.
How Does Monkeypox Spread?
Monkeypox can be transmitted to humans through direct contact with infected animals, such as monkeys, rodents, and squirrels. It can also be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets or by touching the skin or objects contaminated with the virus.
The incubation period for monkeypox is usually 7 to 14 days, but it can range from 5 to 21 days. Infected individuals are contagious during the early stages of the disease, and until all the scabs have fallen off. The risk of transmission is highest during the first two weeks of illness, when the virus is most concentrated in bodily fluids.
Signs and Symptoms of Monkeypox
The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than smallpox. They usually start with fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue, followed by a rash that appears on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. The rash progresses to raised bumps and then turns into fluid-filled blisters that eventually scab over and fall off.
Other symptoms may include lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes), chills, sweats, and back pain. The disease can be severe in some people, especially those with weakened immune systems.
Preventing the Spread of Monkeypox
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but supportive care can help relieve symptoms and prevent complications. Prevention is the key to controlling the spread of the disease. Here are some ways to prevent the transmission of monkeypox:
- Avoid contact with infected animals, especially monkeys, squirrels, and rodents.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after contact with animals or their products.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with people who have monkeypox, especially those who are sick or have scabs.
- Wear gloves and protective clothing if you have to handle animals or their products.
Monkeypox Cases and Deaths
If you want to stay up-to-date on monkeypox cases and deaths by country and US state, check out the Monkeypox Cases and Deaths by Country and Monkeypox Cases and Deaths by US State pages on our website. We also provide US Monkeypox Testing Data and regular updates on our Blog.
If you have any questions about monkeypox, please refer to our FAQ page or feel free to contact us. And don't forget to subscribe to our email list or follow us on Twitter to stay informed about the latest news and research on monkeypox.