Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus. We are monitoring the situation and are working with public health authorities to stop the further spread of the current monkeypox outbreak. If we all know the facts and work together, we can help to stop the spread of monkeypox.
What to look for: People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals, hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
- The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
- The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Other symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches and backache, headache, and respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough) You may experience all or only a few symptoms. Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash. Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
How the disease is spread: Monkeypox spreads in a few ways. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
- Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
- Contact with respiratory secretions.
How long after exposure a person shows symptoms: When someone is exposed to monkeypox, the department of health decides if the amount of exposure warrants monitoring for monkeypox symptoms. Monitoring means that an individual, or a parent or caregiver, watches for the development of symptoms for 21 days after the exposure.
How long a person is contagious: From the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.
How to Test for Monkeypox: Unless a rash develops after exposure, there is not currently a test for monkeypox. If a rash develops, an individual should follow isolation and prevention practices until (1) the rash can be evaluated by a healthcare provider, (2) testing is performed, if recommended by the healthcare provider, and (3) results of testing are available and are negative.
How to prevent: Settings should follow their everyday operational guidance that reduces the transmission of infectious diseases. This includes children, staff, and volunteers staying home when sick, ensuring access to adequate handwashing supplies, including soap and water, maintaining routine cleaning and disinfection practices, identifying private spaces for assessment of an ill child away from others, and providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff who care for students with infectious diseases. If there is a monkeypox exposure, the department of health will help in considering appropriate actions to prevent the spread of the virus.
Exclude from attendance: You must stay at home (isolate) if you have monkeypox or monkeypox symptoms, including a monkeypox rash, until it has healed, and a new layer of skin has formed. Staying away from other people and not sharing things you have touched with others will help prevent the spread of monkeypox. Monkeypox can also spread to animals, so staying away from pets, livestock and other animals is important.
Questions? Call the PSJA Health Hotline at 956-354-2015