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What Are Monkeypox Symptoms?

What Are Monkeypox Symptoms?
Kevin Cleary

As your wellness partner, Health Products for You is committed to keeping you up-to-date on what you need to know to stay healthy!

In the last couple of years, we have all heard about pandemics and endemics associated with the COVID-19 virus. If you have been paying attention to the news recently you have heard about the Monkeypox virus. As it spreads across the country, the concern is on the rise.

What Is Monkeypox?

The monkeypox virus outbreak of 2022 has dominated news reports recently, but do we know what the monkeypox virus is? According to the CDC, the monkeypox virus is part of the family of viruses called orthopoxvirus, the same virus that causes smallpox (variola virus). The monkeypox virus was discovered in 1958 when a “pox-like” disease occurred in a colony of monkeys used for research, hence the name monkeypox. The virus is also known as hMPXV. Even though the virus is called monkeypox, the source of the disease is unknown. The virus can spread in several ways, including:

  • Close, skin-to-skin contact
  • Direct contact with the monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from an infected individual
  • Touching objects, fabrics, and services used by a person with monkeypox
  • Contact with respiratory secretions
  • Intimate contact with an infected individual
  • Hugging or kissing
  • Expecting mothers can transmit the virus to their fetuses through the placenta.

This virus can also be spread through contact with infected animals. A scratch/bite from an infected animal can transmit monkeypox, as well as preparing or eating meat from an infected animal. A person infected with monkeypox can transmit the virus from the time symptoms arise until the rash has fully healed and a new layer of skin has formed.

This can last roughly 2-4 weeks. Research is ongoing to determine if the virus can be spread when someone has no symptoms, how often respiratory secretions transmit the virus, and whether the virus can be spread through semen, vaginal fluids, or urine/feces.

Symptoms of Monkeypox

While monkeypox is significantly less fatal than the current outbreak of COVID-19, the signs and symptoms of monkeypox are no less painful. Symptoms of monkeypox normally start approximately 3 weeks after exposure to the virus. Symptoms of monkeypox can be flu-like and include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Cough, sore throat, or congestion

If flu-like symptoms are experienced, a rash likely develops 1-4 days later. An exposed individual may experience all or only a few of these symptoms. As stated, some folks experience flu-like symptoms before the rash, while others may experience the rash first, followed by other symptoms. Typically, this illness lasts 2-4 weeks, during which time you should avoid close contact with others.


How to Protect Yourself

Many news stories have reported the number of monkeypox cases is increasing in the US. To protect yourself from the monkeypox virus, you should take a few steps to avoid contracting the virus:

  • Avoid close contact with someone with a rash similar to monkeypox
  • Do not touch the rash/scabs of someone infected
  • Do not hug, snuggle, or have sex with someone infected
  • Avoid contact with items used by an infected individual
  • Wash your hands with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Get the Monkeypox vaccination

Being vigilant with your hygiene and avoiding close contact with someone who may be infected is your best defense other than the monkeypox vaccine. Consult your doctor or physician to determine if the vaccine is right for you. Be safe!


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text, was created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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