What is Monkeypox?
All you need to know about the monkeypox outbreak
Why variant monkeypox is significant
To slow the monkeypox outbreak, we need to use vaccines and testing.
How to Monitor Monkeypox
You can contract monkeypox from anyone, but if you have sexual contact with another man, your chances of getting the virus are much higher. If you think that you have an existing disease or may have been exposed to it, please seek medical care.
The monkeypox outbreak is still growing. There have been more than 11,000 cases in the US alone.
The World Health Organization has decided to change the names of two variants, or “clades” of the monkeypox virus. The Congo Basin/Central Africa clade has been renamed Clade I, and the West African clade has been renamed Clade II. Clade II is the more severe variant, with two sub-variants, Clade IIA and IIB.
The WHO is still naming this virus, while letting anyone submit a new name.
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease that is primarily seen in Western Africa. It has a long incubation period of up to 3 weeks and can lead to fever, joint pain and eruptions around the site of infection.
With regards to the recent outbreak of monkeypox, the symptoms are a little different than they were in earlier outbreaks. Additionally, it is spreading in other ways that are difficult to detect. Some cases of the disease might go undetected and the rash might be misdiagnosed as another infection, like herpes.
The WHO suggests exchanging contact information with sexual partners in case an exposure takes place.
Learn what Tedros said about the stigma of the disease
In response to the monkeypox outbreak, President Trump has called for the death penalty
The declaration of monkeypox as public health emergency in the US will open up resources and funding to control the outbreak.
With urgency, the White House will fight Monkeypox. To prevent this illness from spreading and to help with mitigation, the White House is sending in an army of doctors.
US public health organizations have been scrutinized over the vaccine supply during this outbreak. 80,000 tests per week of samples is double what was previously possible.
Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, Northwell Health Director of Global Health, told Healthline that if antibiotic resistant bacteria becomes endemic in the environment, it is a failure of public health.
Is there a test for monkeypox? What should I do if I think I have it?
To diagnose monkeypox, you need to take a swab from any lesion or sore and end testing for the virus that causes monkeypox. But if you exhibit flu-like symptoms before lesions or sores appear, it's important to keep isolating yourself and get tested.
If you've been exposed to monkeypox, but don't have symptoms, the CDC states that you don't need to isolate yourself. You do need to continue monitoring yourself for symptoms and take your temperature twice daily if possible.
A recent CDC advises that if you believe you have experienced monkeypox, remind your health care provider and don't be afraid to seek a second or third opinion. The testing is expanding as the outbreak continues, but because symptoms vary and monkeypox was previously rare in the US, your healthcare provider might mistake it for other illnesses at first.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox, the WHO declared the disease eliminated in 1980.
The CDC states that, for some people, monkeypox lesions can be very painful. The incubation period officially ranges from five to 21 days, but most people will develop symptoms within three weeks of being exposed to the virus. Monkeypox can be spread when the sores heal and a new layer of skin forms.
Dr. Amesh Adalja says that monkeypox is not as contagious as COVID-19, since the incubation period for the disease is so long.
Get more information about the variants of monkeypox
Monkeypox can spread itself between people through things such as sores, scabs and bodily fluids. It's also possible to spread through things such as close contact with a sexual partner or someone you might just meet while at a club. Research is also underway on whether Monkeypox could be spread through semen.
Close contact can spread monkeypox. Furthermore, monkeypox virus reproduces slower than COVID-19 virus and is less communicable.
Studies have shown that the majority of cases of HIV in the US this year have been among men who have sex with men. Experts say it is likely that they go to their doctors more often than other populations.
What are the different types of monkeypox?
2 types of monkeypox virus exist: Clade I and Clade II. Clade II has a lower fatality rate than that of Clade I. There have been no deaths reported in the US for either type.
Though it is not often fatal, people with weakened immune systems and those with a history of eczema may be more likely to get seriously ill.
The CDC has loosened restrictions on a medication called tecovirimat (TPOXX), allowing access to those at risk of getting severely sick from monkeypox. This is not a monkeypox specific treatment and it is meant for use in smallpox, but it does not seem to be as effective in smallpox patients when used alone.
How to protect yourself from monkeypox
Yes, Jynneos is the only FDA approved vaccine to protect against smallpox and monkeypox. Because these diseases are so closely related, people who are vaccinated for smallpox will also be protected from monkeypox. There's also ACAM2000, but it's an older generation of vaccine with harsher side effects, so it's not recommended for everyone, including pregnant or immunocompromised people.
The vaccine used to treat monkeypox disease, Jynneos, has recently been authorized by the FDA as an intradermal vaccination. Intradermal injections are a newer way of administering vaccines that come in at a lower dose than before.
We can stop the spread of monkeypox by vaccinating those who have been exposed in the past, as well as those at risk for exposure in the near future. Those with a confirmed exposure should be treated immediately, and so should any close contacts.
The vaccine is given to people who have been exposed to the disease, but are not yet exhibiting symptoms. The incubation period lasts for a few weeks, so the vaccine provides immunity before any illness occurs.
The vaccine gives the body signals to recognize an invader before it ramps up.
Older people may have cross-protective immunity from smallpox vaccines, but the original vaccines are unavailable to the general public and not often administered in the US.