In early August 2022, monkeypox was declared a public health emergency in the United States. The following information was provided by the CDC and the Indiana Department of Health.
- 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.
While the risk of monkeypox is still considered low in the area, if you exhibit symptoms or become a known close contact of someone who recently tested positive or treated for monkeypox — please notify the Pandemic Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible and begin to isolate yourself until a care plan has been put into place.
What are the signs and symptoms of monkeypox?
Symptoms of monkeypox can start with:
- Fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion
These symptoms usually appear 7-14 days after someone is exposed to monkeypox. About 1-3 days later, a rash that can look like pimples or blisters appears, usually on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
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 only experience a rash.
If I was exposed, when should I expect to see symptoms?
Symptoms usually appear 7-14 days after exposure but can occur up to 21 days after exposure. If you know that you have been exposed (close physical contact) to a person who had symptoms of monkeypox at the time of your exposure, you should contact your healthcare provider as you may be eligible for a post-exposure prophylaxis vaccine. Receiving the vaccine within 4 days of exposure can prevent infection and within 14 days of exposure can reduce symptoms.
You need to watch for symptoms, and if a rash develops, isolate and then seek medical attention for evaluation and testing.
How does monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person to person through:
- direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body 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 the placenta
It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
Someone who has monkeypox can spread infection to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed (scabs have fallen off) and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.
Here’s guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how to clean at home.
Who is at risk for monkeypox infection?
Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should talk to their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox. People who may be at higher risk might include, but are not limited to, those who:
- Had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with confirmed or probable monkeypox
- Had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity; this includes men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event (e.g., a bar or party)
- Traveled outside the U.S. to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox activity has been ongoing
- Had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that exists only in Africa or used a product derived from such animals (e.g., meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.)
Where do I go to get tested for monkeypox?
Call your healthcare provider or Goshen Family Physicians at (574) 534-8200 to inquire about testing. They can set up an appointment for testing or direct you to where you can be tested. If you do not have a provider and you have a rash or symptom that you are concerned about, you may go to an urgent care or emergency department for care and evaluation.
Where can I go to get a vaccine?
- IDOH had consulted its statewide vaccine allocation committee about the equitable and ethical distribution of the JYNNEOS vaccine.
- Indiana has only been allocated a small amount meant to be used primarily to treat people who have been a close contact of a case to prevent severe disease.
- If you are a close contact of a confirmed monkeypox case, please reach out to your local health department and or provider.
- Postexposure prophylactic vaccination must be given within 14 days of exposure.
- IDOH has begun to vaccinate people who are at high risk for severe illness and high risk for exposure with the limited remaining vaccine and has been contacting those patients directly.
- If you would like to be notified when more vaccine is available, please click this link or point your smart phone at the QR code and register.