Monkeypox General Information
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Maryland has identified cases in the state. Case counts reported by the CDC can are found here.
Monkeypox infection can make you sick with flu-like symptoms and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters. Monkeypox is rarely fatal. For the general public, the current risk of getting monkeypox is low.
Anyone in close contact with a monkeypox patient is at risk, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
If you suspect exposure to monkeypox, please consult your medical provider.
The Maryland Department of Health has a FAQ sheet available here.
Signs, Symptoms, and Transmission
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus
- The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
A person with monkeypox can spread from when symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Infection of monkeypox through semen or vaginal fluids has not been confirmed.
- Direct contact with infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
- Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact or intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex-touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
- Pregnant women can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
- It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal, by preparing or eating meat or by using products from an infected animal.
Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people with a rash that resembles monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
Cecil Counth Health Department has monkey pox vaccination available. Please call for a screening to see if you qualify for vaccination, (410)996-5100.