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For Your Information

Clark’s Office of Health Services has compiled the following information about monkeypox:

  • Monkeypox is a viral disease — part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox (it has no relation to chickenpox). Because of this, antibiotics will not cure it. It is rarely fatal. The first-ever case of monkeypox in humans was discovered in 1970​.
  • Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, fatigue, sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, and rash (common locations of the rash include genitals, anus, hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth).​
  • Symptoms develop within three weeks of exposure, and a rash can develop one to four days after the person experiences flu-like symptoms — the illness will last two to four weeks. Monkeypox is contagious from the time symptoms start until the rash is fully healed.
  • Monkeypox is spread through close contact, usually skin-to-skin. However, it can also be spread by using the same clothing, bedding, or towels as someone with monkeypox or by coming into contact with their respiratory secretions​.
  • There is no one specific treatment for monkeypox. It is thought that some antiviral drugs or vaccines used against smallpox may be helpful. Traditionally, these anti-virals and vaccines are only used for people at risk. No mandatory isolation is required, but those who are experiencing symptoms should stay home.
  • Scientists are still researching the cause(s) of monkeypox: If the virus can be spread when someone has no symptoms; how often it is spread through respiratory secretions; whether it can be spread through semen, vaginal fluids, urine, or feces.​
  • The CDC recommends isolation for those with confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox (pending testing results).

You are encouraged to visit the Centers for Disease Control website for more information about monkeypox. If you have any questions or concerns, or you think you may have been exposed to monkeypox, call Clark’s Office of Health Services at 508-793-7467