To Your Health: Monkeypox
Last month, monkeypox was declared a national health emergency. Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed hard to believe we had another disease making headlines, but because it was reported to be less infectious than COVID, people may think it isn’t worth their attention. However, people suffering with the flu-like symptoms and painful lesions would disagree.
Hello, I’m Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs at Southeast Missouri State University. Yale Medicine describes Monkeypox as a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It usually occurs in Central and West Africa. But for reasons not yet known, the virus is behaving in ways never before seen. Since early May, monkeypox cases have been reported in countries that don’t normally see it. Before this, monkeypox was also not known to spread easily among people or to infect large groups at once. Now, it appears to spread through close contact.
To avoid contracting monkeypox, the CDC recommends avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox, avoiding contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used, and washing your hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. While at this time, men who have sex with men make up the majority of the cases in the U.S., the CDC stresses that anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk. Following the recommended prevention steps and getting vaccinated if you are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox can help protect you and your community.