Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox is a potentially serious viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over. Illness could be confused with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis or herpes, or with chickenpox. Most infections last two to four weeks.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
- A rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
- The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
- The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later. Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. → CDC Information with Photos
- CDC: Monkeypox
- U.S. Map with Case Counts
- CDC: Clinical Considerations for Monkeypox in Children and Adolescents
- CDC: Frequently Asked Questions
- Louisiana Dept. of Health: Monkeypox Information
- New England Journal of Medicine: Monkeypox Virus Infection in Humans across 16 Countries
- NYC.Gov/Health: Monkeypox
What You Need to Know from the CDC
- CDC is tracking an outbreak of monkeypox that has spread across several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States.
- The monkeypox virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox.
- You can take steps to prevent getting monkeypox and lower your risk during sex.
- CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox.
- If you have any symptoms of monkeypox, talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.
- CDC is urging healthcare providers in the United States to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox.