Important Information on Monkeypox

The viral disease monkeypox is spreading around the world, and NCFMG wants to share the following information.

The viral disease monkeypox is spreading around the world, and NCFMG wants to share the below information.

The World Health Organization, New York, California, Illinois, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego County, and, now, the United States have declared this infection a health emergency. To date, there are <8000 infected individuals in the U.S. The good news is monkeypox is much less contagious and much less deadly than Covid. The risk of severe disease is higher for young children, people who are immunocompromised, or pregnant women.

Monkeypox produces symptoms that can range from unpleasant to painful, although they are rarely deadly. It mostly spreads through close physical contact, typically skin-to-skin touch. The incubation period ranges from 5 days to 3 weeks. Patients typically present with fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and painful skin lesions. When the rash first appears at the site of inoculation, it looks like flat spots. Classically, all the spots change at the same time, becoming raised bumps and then fluid-filled blisters that become pus-filled white/yellow sores. The infection is self-limited, usually lasting 2-4 weeks.

Most infections in the current outbreak have occurred through close contact during sex, but monkeypox is not considered an STI. The virus also can spread through contaminated surfaces, including clothes, towels, and bedding. Brief contact, like a handshake, is not usually enough to spread monkeypox. Unlike Covid, it does not seem to spread much through the air.

So far, about 98 percent of cases worldwide are among men who have sex with men.

To lower the risk of developing this infection, one should look for sores upon intimate partners, use a condom, reduce the number of sexual partners or avoid riskier activities, and practice good hygiene, like frequent hand-washing.

The threat of monkeypox developing into a pandemic as large as COVID remains very low. Please see these links for more information:

CDC link for Monkeypox
San Diego County link for Monkeypox

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