How To Identify Monkeypox Rashes & Other Symptoms
Monkeypox infection rates in California have declined drastically since its peak in the summer – but it hasn’t gone away. Experts believe monkeypox will probably be a fact of life in California for years to come, and there may even be more serious outbreaks in the future. So even though the threat is currently low, you should know how to identify monkeypox rashes and its other symptoms.
This is particularly important because monkeypox is primarily spread through sexual contact, although it can spread through other contact as well. Being able to identify it at a critical moment can help protect you from the disease.
Monkeypox (MPX) typically starts with basic flu-like symptoms: low energy, body or headaches, fever, or swollen lymph nodes. Some patients also report symptoms such as rectal bleeding or pain from bowel movements.
At this stage, MPX is difficult to tell apart from numerous other diseases.
However, within a few days of infection, lesions (sores or blisters) will appear on the body. These are the distinguishing feature of monkeypox, along with relatives such as smallpox or chicken pox.
These lesions are most often located near the genitals or anus, but can potentially appear anywhere on the body, including the hands, feet, chest, or even the face.
The lesions are highly infectious, and the most direct way of catching the disease. You should never touch another person’s lesions, but they are firm and slightly rubbery. They’re well-circumscribed (have a well-defined boundary) and very often have a dark dot at the tip of the lesion. These blisters are typically painful at first, then become itchy.
Over time, the blisters will fill with pus – which is particularly infectious – then pop and scab over. Eventually, the scabs will fall off and the skin underneath will fully heal.
It is vital to know that a patient is constantly infectious throughout this process. They are only fully safe to touch after the scabs have fallen off and the skin underneath the lesions has completely healed up. In total, the full course of the disease runs for 3-4 weeks. A patient should strive to isolate themselves throughout the process.
MPX is extremely uncomfortable, but it is not typically fatal. However, fatalities have occurred, especially among those who already have compromised immune systems, such as AIDS/HIV patients or those on immuno-suppressants.
Our Surfside Urgent Care Team Is Here