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Monkeypox: What You Need To Know

Aug 12, 2022

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. Despite being named “monkeypox,” the source of the disease remains unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) might harbor the virus and infect people.

The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. Prior to the 2022 outbreak, monkeypox had been reported in people in several central and western African countries. Previously, almost all monkeypox cases in people outside of Africa were linked to international travel to countries where the disease commonly occurs or through imported animals. These cases occurred on multiple continents.

The Spread of Monkeypox & How To Take Caution

How Monkeypox Spreads

Monkeypox spreads in a few ways.

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.

A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

More than 99% of the people infected with monkeypox so far are men who acquired the virus through intimate contact with other men, according to the CDC. As of July 25, 13 women and two young children had been diagnosed with monkeypox.

Scientists are still researching:

Monkeypox Prevention Steps

Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.

Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.

Wash your hands often.

Monkeypox Facts for People Who Are Sexually Active

Talk to your partner about any recent illness and be aware of new or unexplained rash on your body or your partner’s body, including the genitals and anus. If you or your partner have recently been sick, currently feel sick, or have a new or unexplained rash, do not have sex and see a healthcare provider.

If you or a partner has monkeypox, the best way to protect yourself and others is to avoid sex of any kind (oral, anal, vaginal) and do not kiss or touch each other’s bodies while you are sick, especially any rash. Do not share things like towels, fetish gear, sex toys, and toothbrushes.

For more information, read the following information sheets from the CDC:

Monkeypox Symptoms & Warning Signs

Monkeypox Symptoms

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:

You may experience all or only a few symptoms

How Long Do Monkeypox Symptoms Last?

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

If You Have a New or Unexplained Rash or Other Symptoms…

To see images of monkeypox rashes and get more details, visit the CDC Monkeypox webpage.

The Monkeypox Vaccine & How To Schedule

Monkeypox Vaccine

The preferred vaccine to protect against monkeypox is JYNNEOS, which is a two-dose vaccine. It takes 14 days after getting the second dose of JYNNEOS for its immune protection to reach its maximum.

The ACAM2000 vaccine may be an alternative to JYNNEOS. ACAM2000 is a single-dose vaccine, and it takes four weeks after vaccination for its immune protection to reach its maximum. However, it has the potential for more side effects and adverse events than JYNNEOS. It is not recommended for people with severely weakened immune systems and several other conditions.

People should take precautions to reduce their exposure to monkeypox until immune protection from vaccines has reached its maximum. Consult your healthcare provider to see if you should get vaccinated against monkeypox, and if you should receive ACAM2000 instead of JYNNEOS.

Please call the Monkeypox Call Center at 1-877-978-6453 to determine your eligibility and a make vaccination appointment at one of the participating health department clinics. Appointments can only be made through the call center.

Steps To Take If You Think You Have Monkeypox

What To Do If You Have Symptoms of Monkeypox

If you suspect you have monkeypox, please call HealthCore Clinic at 316-691-0249 to speak with your medical care provider about testing and treatment options. As well:

As of August 12, 2022, there are 3 cases of monkeypox in the state of Kansas. The risk of monkeypox spreading in Kansas remains low at this time. Click to learn more.