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Monkeypox Information

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MONKEYPOX IN LA COUNTY
 
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus that can
make you sick. It is usually found outside the US, however, multiple cases of monkeypox have recently been reported in California and Los Angeles County.
 
How is monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox can spread when a person has close contact with a person infected with monkeypox virus or when a person comes in contact with materials (e.g., bedding, towels) that are contaminated with the virus. The monkeypox virus can also spread from animals to people.
 
The monkeypox virus can spread by:
• Touching monkeypox lesions on a person’s skin
• Touching contaminated objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, towels), and surfaces that have been in contact with someone with monkeypox
• Coming into contact with respiratory droplets or secretions from the eyes, nose and mouth from a person with monkeypox
 
To prevent the spread of the monkeypox virus, persons should avoid:
• Oral, anal, and vaginal sex, or touching the genitals or anus of someone with monkeypox
• Hugging, massaging, kissing, or talking closely with someone with monkeypox
• Touching shared fabrics, shared surfaces, and objects (e.g. sex toys) used by someone with monkeypox
 
If you do come in contact with an infected person or animals, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
 
Signs of monkeypox:
• Fever & Headaches
• Swollen Lymph Nodes
• Muscle Aches
• Rash, Bumps, Or Blisters
 
TREATMENT AND VACCINATION:
At this time, there are no specific approved treatments for monkeypox infections. However, medication, such as antivirals, may be used to ease the symptoms of illness. In some cases, vaccine can be given to prevent the disease after exposure to the monkeypox virus. Please discuss available treatment options with your healthcare provider.
 
IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE MONKEYPOX, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER.
 
IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PROVIDER OR HEALTH INSURANCE, CALL 2-1-1 OR VISIT A PUBLIC HEALTH SEXUAL HEALTH CLINIC NEAR YOU.
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
1. What is monkeypox?
 
Monkeypox is a contagious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease arose in colonies of monkeys kept for research. The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. It was rarely seen in the United States or many other countries until May 2022.
 
There are 2 types of monkeypox virus. The type that is currently in the US is less severe. The most common symptom is a rash, which may or may not be associated with flu-like symptoms Most people do not need hospital care and recover in 2-4 weeks. Vaccines and antiviral treatment are available for monkeypox.
 
2. What are the signs and symptoms of monkeypox?
 
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus.
 
The most common symptom is a rash that may:
• Look like bumps, pimples, blisters, or scabs. It will go through several stages before healing. Generally, the rash starts as red, flat spots, and then becomes bumps. Those bumps can then become filled with fluid which turns to pus. The bumps then crust into a scab.
• Be on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina), anus (butthole), mouth, or other areas like the hands, feet, chest, and face.
• Spread over the body or it may be limited to one area. There may be just a few bumps or blisters.
• Be painful and/or itchy. Some people have severe pain, especially if the rash is inside their mouth or anus.
 
People may also develop flu-like symptoms in addition to the rash. These can appear 1-4 days before the rash starts or after the rash starts. They include fever/chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches, and headache.
 
Most people with monkeypox recover in 2-4 weeks.
 
3. How does monkeypox spread?
 
Monkeypox is known to spread by close intimate and/or prolonged contact with someone with monkeypox. These include:
• Direct skin-to-skin contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or sores during sex and other intimate contact. This can include kissing, massaging, and cuddling.
• Contact with respiratory secretions. This can happen during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact or intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, and sex with a person with monkeypox.
• Contact with objects and fabrics (such as unwashed clothing and bedding, sharing towels) that have been used by someone with monkeypox and haven’t been cleaned.
 
A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, scabs have fallen off, and there is a new layer of skin. This usually takes 2 to 4 weeks.
 
A pregnant person with monkeypox can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
 
Monkeypox is much less contagious than COVID-19. It is NOT spread through casual conversations or by walking by someone who has it.
 
Scientists are still researching more about how monkeypox is spread, including:
• If the virus can be spread when someone does not have symptoms,
• How often it spreads through respiratory secretions, and
• Any other types of interactions or behaviors that may put people at higher risk.
 
See ph.lacounty.gov/monkeypox for more details and the latest information.
 
4. Who is at risk for monkeypox?
 
In this current outbreak in the U.S., the vast majority of people diagnosed with monkeypox are men who reported having sexual or close intimate contact with other men. But it is important to remember that anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.
 
As this is a new outbreak, public health organizations nationally and internationally are still learning about the situations or behaviors that may put people at increased risk. We will continue to share information as we learn more.
 
5. How is monkeypox treated?
 
Many people with monkeypox have a mild illness and recover without any antiviral treatment. This usually takes 2 to 4 weeks. There are no FDA approved medicines to specifically treat monkeypox. But an FDA approved antiviral medicine used to treat smallpox called tecovirimat (or TPOXX) can be used to treat people with monkeypox. TPOXX can be given to people with severe monkeypox, including lesions in sensitive areas or pain that is not controlled with over-the-counter remedies. It can also be given to people who are more likely to get severely ill (see question below).
 
Your doctor can also prescribe non-monkeypox medicines that can help reduce pain and irritation from the rash or sores.
 
FOR MORE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON MONKEYPOX you can view the FAQ on the LA Public Health website here.
 
For more information on Monkeypox, visit: ph.lacounty.gov/media/Monkeypox/
Revised 6/30/2022

 

Mon, September 26 2022 1 Tishrei 5783