Monkeypox cases around the world have been steadily declining, but this doesn’t mean that we should no longer care about them.
Last July, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox to be an international health emergency, with the infectious disease logging a total of over 61,000 cases worldwide. Noted for its prominent rash and flu-like symptoms, the monkeypox virus is similar to the eradicated smallpox virus but is known to be milder and less fatal.
Although there have only been four confirmed cases in the Philippines, as of this writing, it’s always a good idea to stay aware of the virus and its potential harms. In partnership with the Cardinal Santos Medical Center, here is a general rundown of what you need to know about monkeypox:
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Monkeypox symptoms typically begin appearing within three weeks of exposure to the virus. If a person starts to show flu-like symptoms, a blistery rash located near the genitals (i.e. the penis, testicles, labia, and vagina), as well as in other areas such as the hands, feet, face, and mouth, usually develops shortly after one to four days.
It is also important to note that other symptoms of monkeypox may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, muscle aches, backaches, and fatigue. The virus is generally known to last for two to four weeks.
How does monkeypox spread?
The monkeypox virus can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, face-to-face contact, mouth-to-skin contact, and physical exposure to affected bedding, towels, clothing, and other contaminated materials.
How can you help prevent the spread of monkeypox?
Prevention is always the first step to fighting a virus, and the best way to practice this is to maintain good and proper hygiene. This includes regularly washing your hands and cleaning objects and surfaces that are regularly touched. Aside from this, it is also advisable to lessen skin-to-skin or face-to-face contact with other people.
If you develop symptoms of the virus, one way to help protect everyone is to isolate yourself at home during the duration of the illness. Those in contact with people who show monkeypox symptoms should also protect themselves by wearing masks and disposable gloves. Monkeypox can be spread from the time in which the symptoms develop until all scabbing has fallen off and healed.
For more information on the monkeypox virus, stay informed with Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC)’s Facebook page. If you are experiencing any symptoms, you can reach CSMC at 8727-0052 or visit the emergency room of the CSMC Main Hospital Building.