Monkeypox: what you need to know

Phatamarha Noel

On Thursday, Aug 4, 2022, less than a month before schools reopened, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention declared monkeypox to be a public health emergency. 

Monkeypox is a non-fatal virus with a survival rate of 99%. The virus tends to last 2-4 weeks. 

Symptoms

The symptoms come in stages but the order of the stages may vary and not all people experience each stage. The stages include:

 1) An asymptomatic period that can last up to three weeks. During this time, you are not contagious.

2) Symptoms such as fever, sore throat, runny nose, swollen lymph nodes, cough, and aches. 

3) Pimple-like rash typically around genitals, palms, soles of feet, face, and throat that may feel very painful and/or itchy. 

How it spreads

Monkeypox is primarily spread through close contact with an infected host. Monkeypox can be spread through humans and animals such as house pets. Fortunately, children and teens have a very low risk of catching the virus in the first place. According to the CDC, monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease even though you can contract it through sexual activity. 

Prevention

Vaccines are not yet readily available to people who aren’t regularly in close contact with monkeypox patients. Currently, only medical professionals can order monkeypox tests and it’s only recommended for people who show symptoms. Results of the test are usually conclusive after a few days.