Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by an infection with the monkeypox virus. The virus is similar to and in the same family as smallpox. It is most common in some African countries; however, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency since it has spread to many countries worldwide, including the United States.
The monkeypox virus causes flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills, as well as a rash that can take several weeks to heal. The disease spreads through social interactions and intimate contact.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) the risk of children getting infected with monkeypox virus is low. As of August 3, 2002, two pediatric cases have been confirmed in the United States (<0.1% of all cases). Children and adolescents are more likely to be exposed to monkeypox if they live in or have recently traveled to a community with higher rates of infection.
If you are sick or need medical care, call us at 239.658.3000. This allows our team to assess your condition and protect others against potential exposure safely should you need an in-person appointment.
The best ways to prevent becoming infected with monkeypox are:
Symptoms from monkeypox are similar to smallpox but are usually milder. Early signs of monkeypox can appear to be flu-like. Monkeypox is rarely fatal; however, people with weakened immune systems, children under 8, people with a history of eczema, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding will need extra precaution.
The rash goes through multiple stages before healing completely. The order of appearance and combination of symptoms vary. Some people may only experience a rash. The rash can be similar in appearance to chickenpox, so it is important to consult a physician.
The monkeypox illness typically lasts 2 to 4 weeks and is considered non-contagious once the rash disappears and the skin is clear.
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, and most people get better on their own without treatment. Because of the similarities to smallpox, the antiviral drugs used to treat smallpox may be used to treat monkeypox.
The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that people exposed to monkeypox or who may be more likely to catch monkeypox get vaccinated. The JYNNEOS vaccine is two-doses and is the preferred vaccination for protection against monkeypox for individuals 18 years of age or older. After getting the second dose of the vaccine, it takes 14 days for immune protection to reach maximum.
Please get in touch with your primary healthcare provider for consultation if you think you are eligible for the monkeypox vaccination.
Visit the CDC Monkeypox website for the latest information regarding monkeypox, vaccination, and other frequently asked questions.