What You Need to Know About the Monkeypox Infection
Right now, there is good news and bad news about the monkeypox infection which was spreading around California. The good news is that infection rates have plummeted since their height in August, now only around 5% of the previous high. The bad news is that monkeypox is still around, and hundreds of people are still getting infected – and it’s unlikely to fully go away.
So even though the worst is (hopefully) over, it’s still important to be aware of the threat that monkeypox represents. Educate yourself, keep yourself safe, and be sure to visit a local urgent care clinic if you think you may have been exposed.
What Is Monkeypox (MPX)?
MPX is a viral infection, related to similar diseases such as chicken pox or smallpox. Fortunately, it is typically less severe than smallpox, although it absolutely can be fatal – particularly in people who already have compromised immune systems. Prior to the 2022 summer outbreak, it was considered a rare disease, and one primarily confined to Africa.
As a virus, MPX cannot be directly treated with medications. If caught, the only option is to treat the symptoms as the disease runs its course. Fortunately, a vaccine is available, and Californians are highly encouraged to get vaccinated.
What Are the Symptoms Of MPX?
MPX starts with flu-like symptoms: lethargy, aches, chills, fever, and/or swollen lymph nodes. However, within a few days of infection, patients will develop blisters or rashes on their body.
These rashes most often appear near the genitals or anus but can potentially appear anywhere on the body.
Over time, the blisters will burst, scab over, and eventually will heal up. However, this process typically takes several weeks, and a patient is potentially infectious until every wound is fully healed.
How Is MPX Spread?
MPX primarily spreads through bodily fluids: saliva, sweat, and genital emissions. For this reason, it is most commonly spread through sexual contact. However, it can also spread through physical objects which have been in direct contact with the sores, such as blankets or clothing.
MPX can also be carried by animals and spread through their bites.
MPX should be treated like a sexually transmitted disease. Discuss your partners’ health with them, and don’t overlook scabs or blisters on their body. Always use condoms and other protection as well.
Surfside Urgent Care of Laguna Beach