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What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and Monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?
Symptoms of Monkeypox can include:
-Muscle aches and backache
-Swollen lymph nodes
A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
How long do symptoms last?
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 may only experience a rash.
How does someone get infected with the Monkeypox virus?
Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to--person through:
-direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or bodily fluids.
-respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during 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 people can spread the virus to their fetus through placenta.
What should I do if I think I have symptoms?
Contact your healthcare provider. You should call ahead if visiting a hospital emergency room or walk in clinic to notify them that you may be infected with Monkeypox virus.
Is there testing available to see if I am infected?
Diagnostic testing for Monkeypox is now available from commercial laboratories, including Aegis Sciences, LabCorp, Mayo Clinic, Quest, and Sonic Healthcare. Healthcare providers can order testing from these laboratories as they would order other diagnostic tests.
How to protect yourself
Take the following steps to prevent getting Monkeypox:
Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like 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 an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
CDC Monkeypox Homepage: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html
2022 U.S. Map & Case Count: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/us-map.html
CT Department of Public Health's Monkeypox Homepage: https://portal.ct.gov/dph/epidemiology-and-emerging-infections/ct-monkeypox
Important Information to Know
Getting vaccinated after a recent exposure may reduce the chance of you getting monkeypox, and it can reduce symptoms if you do get it. CDC does not recommend widespread vaccination against monkeypox at this time. However, vaccination may be recommended for some people who:
Are close personal contacts of people with monkeypox
May have been exposed to the virus
May have increased risk of being exposed to the virus
Monkeypox Vaccine FAQ: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DPH/Monkeypox/Monkeypox-Vaccinations/MPX-Vaccine-FAQ-09092022.pdf
You are eligible to be vaccinated if you are residing, attending school, or stationed in Connecticut and meet one of the following:
You had close personal contact in the past 14 days with a positive case of monkeypox (this may include sexual partners, household contacts, and healthcare workers); OR
You meet at least one of the following criteria:
Had a sexual partner in the past 6 months who was diagnosed with monkeypox; OR
Had multiple sexual partners in the past 6 months in a jurisdiction (e.g., city/state/country) with known monkeypox; OR
Have a current partner who has multiple sexual partners in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox; OR
Anticipate having a new sexual partner or partners in the next 6 months in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox.
If you are eligible to be vaccinated, you should especially consider getting vaccinated if:
Your partners are showing symptoms of monkeypox, such as a rash or sores.
You met recent partners through online applications or social media platforms (such as Grindr, Tinder or Scruff), or at clubs, raves, sex parties, saunas or other large gatherings.
You have a condition that may increase your risk for severe disease if infected with monkeypox virus, such as HIV or another condition that weakens your immune system, or you have a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema.
Vaccination is not recommended for individuals with current monkeypox illness. Persons with monkeypox symptoms who have had close personal contact with someone with known monkeypox in the past 14 days should contact their health care provider.
How to obtain vaccine:
If you are eligible to be vaccinated, you can find a list of clinic locations and contact information by visiting: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Epidemiology-and-Emerging-Infections/CT-Monkeypox/Monkeypox-Vaccination