The Monkeypox Outbreak in California – Should You Still Be Worried?
For a couple of months in the summer, it seemed like the monkeypox outbreak in California was going to be COVID 2.0 – but fortunately, it has mostly subsided. Much of the credit can go to leaders across California who recognized the threat and moved quickly to shut down the spread of monkeypox, such as in San Francisco.
However, just because the threat is now reduced, monkeypox (MPX) hasn’t gone away entirely. It’s still important to understand the symptoms of monkeypox, how it spreads, and how to protect yourself.
How To Help Stop the Monkeypox Outbreak in California from Coming Back
- Know the symptoms
Monkeypox, as the name suggests, is related to other “pox” diseases such as smallpox and chicken pox.
An MPX infection typically starts with flu-like symptoms: fever, low energy, aches, and swollen lymph nodes. However, this will usually be followed by the development of rashes and sores on various parts of the body. Most often, they are clustered around the genitals and anus, but can also appear almost anywhere else on the body, including hands, feet, face, or chest.
These rashes usually look like large blisters or pimples, and are painful or itchy, but will eventually break, scab over, and then heal.
A person infected by MPX is contagious throughout the infection, particularly once the sores begin to show. They are only safe after the scabs are fully off and the skin underneath has healed, which can take a few weeks.
- How to avoid a monkeypox infection
MPX is almost exclusively transmitted through direct contact with someone infected, particularly by coming into contact with their sores. However, it can also spread through bodily fluids.
For this reason, MPX primarily behaves like a sexually transmitted disease, and the majority of cases came from sexual contact. It had the most impact on gay/lesbian/bisexual communities, but anyone could potentially catch it through sexual activity.
In most cases, practicing safe sex and some common sense can prevent an MPX infection. Ask any potential sexual partners about their health and be willing to call it off if you see sores. And, as always, use a condom and other forms of protection when engaging in sex.
Vaccination can also help prevent the spread of MPX.
If you think you have contracted monkeypox in the Laguna Beach area, don’t delay. Contact Surfside Urgent Care for testing or symptom treatment.