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What Are the Symptoms of Monkeypox?

June 29, 2022

Monkeypox Isn’t New, But It’s Still Serious

As reports of monkeypox cases in Georgia trickle in, there are things we bet you’d like to know. Monkeypox is not as infectious – or as deadly – as COVID. And, despite the flurry of media attention, most people are not at risk of getting the virus.

 Here are the facts about monkeypox.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox virus is in the same family of viruses as smallpox. It also has symptoms similar to smallpox symptoms but milder. 

What are its symptoms?

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Blister-like rash that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and other parts of the body.

The illness typically lasts two to four weeks.

How can I catch it?

Monkeypox is not easy to catch. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the monkeypox virus is most commonly transmitted when a person comes in contact with a person, animal, bedding, towels, or clothing contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or mucous membranes. 

Can monkeypox be treated?

There’s technically no treatment for monkeypox. Antiviral drugs can help protect people who are at higher risk. 

Can I prevent it?

Prevention is straightforward: 

  1. Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with the monkeypox rash.
  2. Avoid contact with bedding, towels, or clothing that has been in contact with a sick person.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after contact with someone infected with monkeypox. 
  4. Avoid contact with animals that could have the virus.