What is it?
Monkeypox is a virus that is closely related to smallpox. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
What are the symptoms?
Signs and symptoms start five to 21 days after contact.
- Muscle pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Feeling very tired
- Rash and blisters
The rash starts off looking like small, fluid-filled blisters called vesicles. The blisters become filled with pus, and about two to three weeks later, they crust over like chickenpox. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
Symptoms can last two to four weeks.
What do I do if I think I have monkeypox?
If you think you may have been exposed to monkeypox, please contact your doctor or call your county public health department.
If you are going to your primary care doctor, call ahead to let them know your symptoms and decide the best way for you to be seen.
If you are visiting the emergency room, mention your concerns specific to monkeypox, mainly if you know you have been exposed and have any symptoms listed above.
Knowing your symptoms and potential exposure will help caregivers take quick action and wear appropriate protective equipment.
How does monkeypox spread?
Anyone can get monkeypox. Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person to person by:
- Contact with infected rash, scabs or body fluids
- Face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex
- Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that were infected with the virus
- Crossing the placenta to the fetus while in-utero
- Being scratched or bitten by an infected animal
- Preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal
Learn more at the CDC website.
How can I prevent getting or spreading the virus?
- Avoid contact with people who may have monkeypox
- Avoid items like bedding and clothing that have been in contact with sick people
- If you may have monkeypox, isolate at home and away from people or pets you live with, when possible
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer
How is monkeypox treated?
Most of the time, monkeypox resolves on its own within two – four weeks, but anti-viral medicines used for smallpox and other similar conditions may be helpful for people at higher risk of complications.
People with cancer, on immunosuppressants, and those with advanced HIV infection may develop more severe cases requiring hospitalization. Well-controlled HIV is not thought to be a risk factor for more severe disease.
Visit the CDC website for more information.
Can I get tested or get a vaccine for monkeypox?
Testing is available and vaccines are limited. Contact your doctor or local public health department for the latest updates.
Tarrant County Public Health Call Center
817-248-6299 (8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Friday)
Visit the county’s website
Collin County Health Department
Visit their website
How can I tell if someone has monkeypox?
It may not be possible to tell, but someone with a rash, sore, or blister anywhere on the body should stay away from others until their skin is completely healed.
Is it safe attend an upcoming festival or event?
Attending a large gathering or event by itself would not be considered a risk, but it would be important to avoid settings or situations where people may have close skin-to-skin contact with others. Learn more on the CDC website here.
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