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What You Need to Know about Monkeypox

Monkeypox is spread from person to person, through the skin to skin contact. Close contact such as sex, transmits the disease. In May 2022 monkeypox began spreading increasingly for the MSM (men who have sex with men) population. It could also be traced to several large gatherings, during which people may have had multiple sex partners.  

Monkeypox symptoms

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
  • The rash may be infectious before it can be noticed or felt.  

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

You may experience all or only a few symptoms

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
  • Others only experience a rash.
  • How long do monkeypox symptoms last?

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Before the lesions are all healed, people remain infectious and should isolate from other people and their pets.

There is a medication that was developed to treat smallpox, tecovirimat, which treats monkeypox. This medicine may not be necessary in many cases, it is available by a health care provider requesting it from the CDC.

The Monkeypox vaccine is available, and doses are being given to the people at the highest risk. More doses will keep being made and distributed. If you are at risk, you should reduce your risk and get vaccinated.  People with multiple sex partners, anonymous partners in the last 14 days, and having sexual activities that have resulted in sexually transmitted diseases are considered high-risk people. You are also at high risk If you have contact with a person who has had monkeypox or their partner.


Monkeypox Rash Photos