“We are ready to take our response to the next level to fight this virus, and we urge all Americans to take this virus seriously and take responsibility for helping us fight this virus,” said Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services. said.
The lesions are usually concentrated on the arms and legs, but in this outbreak they appear more frequently on the genital and perianal area.
“Classically, it presents like many other viral illnesses with what is called a viral prodrome, and symptoms such as fevers, chills, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and muscle aches are common. Within five days of onset of prodrome, patients develop a rash that can look like pimples or blisters,” said Dr. Jason Zucker, infectious disease specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
How is monkeypox spread?
Who is at risk for monkeypox?
Anyone who has been in contact with someone with a rash that looks like monkeypox, or who has been in contact with someone who has a probable or confirmed case of monkeypox, is at high risk of infection.
“The vast majority of those diagnosed with human ape pox virus to date are self-identifying men who have sex with men,” Zucker said.
“It is probably due to shared sexual networks. So what we see is that they see it first and know the majority of cases. Just like other diseases, there is no reason why ‘it can’t spread to other communities through sex or other close contact,’ he said.
What should I do if I have symptoms of monkeypox?
If you notice a new rash or other symptoms of monkeypox, avoid close contact with other people until you have seen a doctor and been tested.
If you are diagnosed with monkeypox, the agency recommends isolation at home and away from family members until the rash or lesions have cleared.
What is the treatment for monkeypox?
Is there a monkeypox vaccine?
Two vaccines are available in the United States to prevent monkeypox, but not everyone is eligible to get one.
“We have 100 million doses of ACAM2000,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in late June, but its side effects mean that “in my mind as a person of public health, would not be worth giving it widely in the general population.”
Another vaccine, Jynneos, is specifically for monkeypox, but it is in short supply. The federal stock is distributed to municipalities based on the number of cases and the population at risk in a given area.
The monkeypox vaccination can be used as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and outbreak response PEP (PEP++), according to the CDC.
PrEP refers to vaccinations given to members of high-risk communities, such as laboratory or healthcare workers, before they come into contact with the virus.
PEP means vaccinating people after known exposure to prevent disease or help relieve symptoms. For prevention, the CDC recommends that the vaccine be given up to four days after exposure. PEP given four to 14 days after exposure may result in milder illness.
PEP++ is the CDC’s approach for people with unconfirmed exposure to the virus but with risk factors that may make them more likely to catch it.
“When combined with self-isolation and other preventative measures when symptoms first appear, PEP++ can help slow the spread of disease in areas with large numbers of case of monkeypox,” the CDC says.
Can I get vaccinated?
Demand for the Monkeypox vaccine is high, but supply shortages and eligibility restrictions mean it may be hard to find at this stage.
Vaccine eligibility remains somewhat strict.
People who are known and confirmed contacts of people with monkeypox can be vaccinated. Also eligible are suspected contacts who have had a sexual partner in the past 14 days diagnosed with monkeypox, those who have had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in an area where monkeypox is spreading, and those whose work may expose them to monkeypox, according to the CDC.
If you think you meet any of these criteria and want to know your eligibility, contact your doctor or local health department.
How can I protect myself?
“However, condoms alone may not prevent all exposures to monkeypox because the rash can occur on other parts of the body,” the CDC states.