Monkeypox is an infection caused by a virus that can be transmitted through contact with infected animals or people. The disease is contagious and can cause serious illness. It usually presents with a rash similar to chickenpox. This rash is painful and can spread to the rest of the body.
Some countries have developed policies to offer monkeypox vaccines. However, the vaccine is not available everywhere, and there are supply shortages. In addition, many countries restrict the import of non-human primates into their territory, which can further limit the population at risk for the disease.
Most cases of monkeypox occur in men who have sexual contact with men. The virus is also found in other species of animals. It can be spread through the bites and bodily fluids of infected animals.
There are two distinct genetic clades of the monkeypox virus. One clade causes more severe infections and is more transmissible. While the other clade is less transmissible, it can cause a milder form of the disease. As of now, the disease has been endemic in parts of Africa for a long time and is spreading globally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak of this disease has disproportionately affected men.
Symptoms of the disease may include fever
Rash and chills. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away. Also, avoid any close personal contact with someone who is already infected. To prevent the spread of the virus, make sure to wash your hands often. Contact your local public health authority for more information.
You should not donate tissue or blood if you think you might be infected with the monkeypox virus. If you do decide to donate, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward. A small whitish fluid is typically present in the blisters of the monkeypox rash. These pustules can ulcerate over the course of several weeks. Once the pustules have scabbed over, the disease is no longer contagious.
If you have been exposed to the monkeypox virus, you might be asked to isolate yourself from other people. However, this should be done only after a healthcare provider has confirmed the infection. If you are at high risk for developing monkeypox, your doctor might prescribe antiviral medication.
To minimize your chances of becoming infected with monkeypox infection, wash your hands with soap and water. You can also ask your family or friends for supplies. Make sure that everyone in your household takes a monkeypox vaccination.
While the risk of becoming infected with monkeypox is minimal, you should not have any sex until after you’ve had your vaccination. Women who are breastfeeding or those who have weakened immune systems are at higher risk of getting seriously ill.
Because of the high incidence of this disease, some experts are calling for a single-dose vaccine, called the Jynneos vaccine. Currently, a two-dose vaccine is recommended. Each dose carries a four-week gap between it and the next.