Monkeypox risk factors, symptoms, testing & vaccinations

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The monkeypox virus is an infection that has afflicted an increasing number of Americans in recent months. Despite the rise in cases, monkeypox is still considered relatively rare. The symptoms of monkeypox are similar (yet often milder) to those experienced with smallpox. Monkeypox is rarely fatal, and usually lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.

Symptoms may include any or all of the following:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Back pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • A rash that may resemble pimples or blisters that can appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on the hands, feet, chest, genitalia, or anus.

Symptoms generally begin within three weeks of exposure to the virus. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms while others may only experience a rash. The illness itself usually lasts between 2 to 4 weeks.

How is monkeypox spread?

  • Direct contact with infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids.

  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or intercourse.

  • Handling items such as clothing, towels or bedding that have previously made contact with an infectious rash or bodily fluids.

  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

  • A scratch or bite from an infected animal, or preparing or eating meat or other products from an infected animal.  

Monkeypox is capable of spreading from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. People who do not have symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

Watson Clinic Testing & Vaccine Information for Monkeypox:

Testing is recommended only for those who have a rash consistent with monkeypox. A swab sample from any present lesions will be collected and sent to a laboratory for testing. Watson Clinic is offering monkeypox testing exclusively at our Watson Clinic Urgent Care Main, Watson Clinic Urgent Care South, and Watson Clinic XpressCare Highlands.
The Jynneos vaccine is available to assist in the prevention of monkeypox. This vaccine should be taken in two doses four weeks apart. A very limited supply of the Jynneos vaccine is available to qualified Watson Clinic patients. The vaccine must be ordered by a Watson Clinic physician, and the patient must meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the Florida Department of Health. For more information on these criteria, click here.

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