Health Advocate Blog

Monkeypox: What you should know

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking an outbreak of monkeypox in the United States. This disease is caused by an infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox is mostly being spread by close, intimate skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Knowing more about this disease is key to keeping yourself safe from the outbreak!

How it spreads

  • Contact with the rash, scabs or bodily fluids caused by monkeypox
  • Intimate physical contact, kissing or cuddling with an infected person
  • Touching clothes, linens, bedding, utensils or cups used by an infected person

How to prevent it

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid contact with people who have symptoms of, or who have been diagnosed with, monkeypox
  • Avoid contact with bedding and towels, utensils and cups, and clothing of an infected person
  • Vaccination can prevent or reduce symptoms in people who have been exposed or are at high risk of getting this infection
  • Contact your doctor or local health department immediately if you have been in close contact with someone with monkeypox in the last 2 weeks or have had multiple partners in the last 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox cases

Signs and symptoms

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Rash that looks like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, hands, feet, chest, or inside the mouth—pretty much your whole body!

What to do if you have symptoms

  • Call your doctor. While most people get better by letting the virus run its course, it is best to keep your doctor in the loop and monitor for potential issues.
  • If you are diagnosed with monkeypox, stay at home. Keep away from family members, roommates or pets while you have an active rash or other symptoms. The illness usually lasts for two to four weeks.

For up-to-date information, please visit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 2022 U.S. Monkeypox Outbreak.