Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It is a viral zoonotic disease, meaning that it can spread from animals to humans. It can also spread between people
Symptoms of monkeypox typically include a fever, intense headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash or lesions.
The rash usually begins within one to three days of the start of a fever. Lesions can be flat or slightly raised, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, and can then crust, dry up and fall off.
The number of lesions on one person can range from a few to several thousand. The rash tends to be concentrated on the face, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. They can also be found on the mouth, genitals and eyes.
Symptoms typically last between 2 to 4 weeks and go away on their own without treatment. If you think you have symptoms that could be monkeypox, seek advice from your health care provider.
Let them know if you have had close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed monkeypox.
Monkeypox can spread to people when they come into physical contact with an infected animal. Animal hosts include rodents and primates. The risk of catching monkeypox from animals can be reduced by avoiding unprotected contact with wild animals, especially those that are sick or dead (including their meat and blood). In endemic countries where animals carry monkeypox, any foods containing animal meat or parts should be cooked thoroughly before eating.
People with monkeypox are infectious while they have symptoms (normally for between two and four weeks). You can catch monkeypox through close physical contact with someone who has symptoms. The rash, bodily fluids (such as fluid, pus or blood from skin lesions) and scabs are particularly infectious. Clothing, bedding, towels or objects like eating utensils/dishes that have been contaminated with the virus from contact with an infected person can also infect others.
Ulcers, lesions or sores in the mouth can also be infectious, meaning the virus can spread through saliva. People who closely interact with someone who is infectious, including health workers, household members and sexual partners are therefore at greater risk for infection.
The virus can also spread from someone who is pregnant to the foetus from the placenta, or from an infected parent to child during or after birth through skin-to-skin contact.
It is not clear whether people who do not have symptoms can spread the disease.
Inserted by Zimbabwe Online Health Centre
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