A new virus has been making the rounds in the news. It is not a new form of COVID, but something else, Monkeypox. It’s slowly been spreading across the US and on July 5, local health orgainzations reported that Springfield-Greene County Health Department reported its first case of the virus in the Greene County area.
With information coming out slowly, there has been a lot of misinformation about the virus. Including but not limited to how it spreads, its treatment, and who exactly can get infected. Contrary to popular belief Monkeypox does not only spread to homosexual individuals. “... anyone one can get it. Its spread typically through prolonged contact with infected skin lesions. The concern is young children under eight, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, individuals who are immune-compromised, and even individuals with certain skin conditions like eczema or atopic dermatitis” explains Eladia Moore, a Webster County Health Unit Registered Nurse who specializes in epidemiology.
It’s hard determining if one has Monkeypox or not. Moore mentions what usually prompts someone into getting tested for the virus is a rash.
“We want people to be looking out for a rash, but it can also look like pimples, scabs, or sores. They can be itchy, painful, or not at all. If someone develops a rash like that, we want them to contact their doctor, ideally a virtual visit so it can be determined if testing needs to be done.”
Moore continues that other symptoms of Monkeypox could include: headache, fatigue, and even muscle aches. Also flu-like symptoms that could easily be mistaken for chickenpox or syphilis.
There are treatments for the virus, though those are reserved for certain cases or high-risk individuals.
Moore states typical recovery lasts between two to four weeks. “We don’t want this to be something that’s here and we have to continue dealing with it… we can hopefully stop it from becoming endemic.”
Recommendations to help lower the spread of the virus include: consulting your doctor if a rash occurs, stay home and self-isolate if feeling unwell. Also, if a household member contracts Monkeypox do not use the same towels or bed sheets as Monkeypox can be picked up from used linens.
Above all do not panic, it is contagious, but these simple tips can keep numbers low and stop Monkeypox from spreading.
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