Another virus in the news? A rare and little-known disease called monkeypox has been making headlines across the world. Monkeypox is caused by a virus that is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. The most common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, respiratory symptoms and a rash that looks like blisters or pimples. Though monkeypox and smallpox share similar symptoms, monkeypox symptoms are milder and the disease is rarely fatal.
Monkeypox typically lasts two to four weeks and can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin or sexual contact, as well as by touching objects or surfaces used by someone with monkeypox. A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta. It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals. A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
Those most at risk include people who have had contact with a confirmed monkeypox case or other Orthopoxvirus, people with multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the past 14 days and anyone with recent travel to an area with monkeypox cases.