The Facts About Monkeypox

by Delilah Newton | Aug 10, 2022

As of Sept. 14, 2022, the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) has reported a total of 194 monkeypox cases in the state since June 17, 2022. No additional information about the cases has been released due to patient privacy.
 
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. The illness typically begins with fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and exhaustion about five to 21 days after exposure. Within one to three days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash. The rash may start in the mouth or any part of the body before spreading. Some people may only develop the rash. The illness typically lasts for two to four weeks. People are considered infectious until all scabs from the rash have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
 
Person-to-person transmission is possible either through skin-to-skin contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores or contaminated items, such as bedding or clothing, or through exposure to respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact.

Who should be tested for monkeypox?

  • Patients with a new characteristic rash typical of monkeypox (deep-seated and well-circumscribed lesions, often with central umbilication; and lesion progression through specific sequential stages—macules, papules, vesicles, pustules, and scabs) OR
  • Patients for whom there is high clinical suspicion of monkeypox and who within 21 days of illness onset: Had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with confirmed or probable monkeypox; OR
  • Had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity; OR
  • Traveled outside the United States to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox activity has been ongoing; OR
  • 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., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.).

To learn more about monkeypox, visit the Indiana Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.  

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