What is monkeypox? Symptoms, risk factors, treatment and how the virus is spread - CNN

What is monkeypox? Symptoms, risk factors, treatment and how the virus is spread - CNN

What is monkeypox? Symptoms, risk factors, treatment and how the virus is spread - CNN
Aug 05, 2022 1 min, 55 secs

How is monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox spreads through close contact, according to the CDC.

That includes direct physical contact with lesions as well as "respiratory secretions" shared through face-to-face interaction and touching objects that have been contaminated by monkeypox lesions or fluids.

The virus is not unique to this community, but the nature of its close-contact spread has led to a disproportionate impact.

"The vast majority of those who have been diagnosed to date with human monkeypox virus are self-identifying men who have sex with men," Zucker said.

"This is likely due to shared sexual networks.

Just like other diseases, there's no reason it can't spread to other communities via sexual or other close contact," he said.

According to the CDC, those at higher risk during this outbreak include people who "had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity," including men who have sex with men who meet partners online, through an app or at a social event.

People with conditions involving a weakened immune system like HIV and eczema, and children under 8 may also be at higher risk of severe illness if infected, according to the CDC.

What should I do if I have monkeypox symptoms?

If you notice a new rash or other monkeypox symptoms, avoid any close contact with other people until you have seen a doctor and gotten tested.

"When you see a healthcare provider, wear a mask, and remind them that the virus is circulating in the area," the CDC says.

If you're diagnosed with monkeypox, the agency recommends isolation at home and away from family members until the rash or lesions are gone.

The CDC has estimated at least 1.5 million people in the US are eligible for monkeypox vaccination.

If you think you meet one of these criteria and want to find out about your eligibility, contact your doctor or your local health department.

How do I keep myself safe?

The CDC recommends avoiding close contact or shared objects with someone with monkeypox.

To help prevent the spread of monkeypox while sexually active, maintaining 6 feet of distance, keeping clothes on during sex, and using condoms and/or gloves can lower chances of exposure.

"However, condoms alone may not prevent all exposures to monkeypox, since the rash can occur on other parts of the body," the CDC says.

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