Monkeypox is an illness caused by the monkeypox virus. It is a viral zoonotic infection, meaning that it can spread from animals to humans. It can also spread from person to person.
Human-to-human transmission can result from:
1. Close contact with someone who has monkeypox.
2. Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels) and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
3. Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
4. Contact with skin ulcers, lesions or sores from a person with monkeypox.
5. Contact with respiratory droplets or secretions from a person with monkeypox.
6. Via the placenta from mother to fetus or during close contact during and after birth.
7. Infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
Signs and Symptoms
Note: The clinical presentation of monkeypox resembles that of smallpox.
The most common symptoms of monkeypox include:
3. Muscle aches
4. Back pain
5. Low energy
6. Swollen lymph nodes
This is then followed by the development of a rash which can be found on the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, eyes, mouth, throat, groin, and genital and/or anal regions of the body. Lesions begin flat, then fill with liquid before they crust over, dry up and fall off, with a fresh layer of skin forming underneath.
Those at higher risk for severe disease or complications include people who are pregnant, children and persons who are immunocompromised.
Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from two to four weeks. People remain infectious until all of the lesions have crusted over, the scabs have fallen off, and a new layer of skin has formed underneath.
Symptoms normally resolve on their own without the need for treatment. If needed, medication for pain (analgesics) and fever (antipyretics) can be used to relieve some symptoms. Stay hydrated, eat well, and get enough sleep.
An antiviral agent developed for the treatment of smallpox has also been licensed for the treatment of monkeypox.
Vaccination against smallpox was demonstrated through several observational studies to be about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. A vaccine was recently approved but only for people who are at risk. Mass vaccination is not recommended at this time.
Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:
1. Avoid contact with infected animals.
2. Avoid contact with people who may be infected with the virus.
3. Avoid contact with objects and materials contaminated with the virus.
4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
5. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
6. Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when around others.
7. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
8. Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for people infected with the virus.
For further inquiries, please reach out to the UE Medical and Dental Clinic of UE Manila and UE Caloocan via these numbers, on non-holiday Mondays to Thursdays, within 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or within 1 to 4:30 p.m.:
UE Manila: Tel. nos. 8-735-5471 local 373 or 8-733-0413
UE Caloocan: Tel. nos. 8-367-4572 local 179 or 8-363-4936
Or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (if your campus is UE Manila) or email@example.com (if your campus is UE Caloocan).
Stay safe, Warriors!