When monkeypox first began to make waves in the U.S. back in early July, the nation only reported 500 cases. Fast forward to the present, where monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency with over 7,000 cases.
At least 2,910 of those cases have been located in New York as of late August, with an increasing count everyday.
What’s been increasing alongside the number of cases is the confusion circulating around. Are you able to catch monkeypox in the crowded New York subway? Is it able to spread through the air? Is everyone at equal risk of catching it?
Today at AG Urgent Care, we’ll de-mystify what monkeypox is, its most common symptoms, and how you can seek treatment if you catch it.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is an uncommon disease that stems from the monkeypox virus. It comes from the same family of viruses as the one that causes smallpox. Even though monkeypox tends to only affect rodents, it can spread among people as it has done in Central and West Africa. Symptoms tend to be mild and are rarely fatal.
What are the Most Common Monkeypox Symptoms?
The most common monkeypox symptom is a rash with pimples and blisters that emerge around the genitals, feet, hands, chest, face, and mouth. They can be itchy or painful and go through stages, such as scabbing, before falling off. Patients have reported other monkeypox symptoms, including:
- Fevers and chills
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Tiredness and exhaustion
- Muscle aches
Monkeypox symptoms start to show within 3 weeks of exposure, with pimples emerging just 1-4 days later. During the 2-4 weeks that the blisters exist, the patient is highly contagious to others and should be quarantined in isolation.
How is Monkeypox Spread?
Monkeypox is primarily spread through direct skin-to-skin contact through situations such as:
- Contact with the rash, scabs, and bodily fluids through activities like sex, hugging, kissing, and extended face-to-face contact
- Direct contact with objects, fabric, or surfaces used by an infected person
- Contact with respiratory secretions by someone infected with monkeypox
How Can I Treat Monkeypox?
The good news is that unlike COVID-19, monkeypox is not as easily spread through airborne transmission. In a similar fashion, monkeypox can also be prevented with a vaccine, although there are less quantities available. Even if you do catch monkeypox, you can expect to recover in 2-4 weeks without needing extensive treatment.
If you suspect you have caught monkeypox, you should get tested immediately. At AG Urgent Care, our healthcare specialists can conduct tests that deliver quick results. They also can help you develop a personalized monkeypox treatment plan to reduce your symptoms and improve your recovery. Don’t hesitate to check in online to one of our centers in Brooklyn and Queens to learn more about monkeypox treatment and get tested for it today.