What You Need To Know About Monkeypox

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Update: As of July 27th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared that the US has more cases of monkeypox than any other country in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also declared monkeypox a global health emergency. Local officials have yet to act, but measures to contain the disease may start soon. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.

On May 24th, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a statement about Monkeypox. An individual in Sacramento County has preliminarily tested positive for monkeypox. This individual had recently traveled to Canada, where problems with this virus have occurred. Seeing this news might have you and your family worried about your health. However, the healthcare providers here at California Urgent Care Center want to clear up any of the misinformation you may be hearing.

What Is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox (also called orthopox) is related to the smallpox virus. It is typically less severe than smallpox and comes in two strains: the West African Strain and the Congo Strain. The Congo strain has a higher mortality rate, around 10 percent, but the West African strain only has a mortality rate around one percent.

Symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes

How Does Monkeypox Spread?

Monkeypox can be transmitted from person to person, animal to person, or material to person. Contact with broken skin, respiratory droplets or contaminated items such as clothing or bed linens can spread the virus. Sexual contact is also suspected as a potential vector for spreading the disease, though the disease is not considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Though the disease is commonly known as “Monkeypox”, primates are not the disease reservoir or host carrier. Though experts are not completely sure what animal the virus originated from, researchers speculate initial spreading may have been by African rodents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) once believed that the threat to the general population was very low but may be changing its position as more cases have appeared in the US.

Treating and Preventing Monkeypox

Orthopox virus has no known specific treatment, but there are treatments for similar diseases that have proven effective. Currently, the smallpox vaccine has proven 85 percent effective in preventing monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization(WHO). However, this vaccine is not available to the general public and will only be administered to individuals who will be traveling to areas where Monkeypox is known to be active.

How Our California Urgent Care Center Can Help

If you have been to certain areas of Canada, Great Britain or West/Central Africa, and are exhibiting the symptoms of Monkeypox, contact a physician. CDPH has a bulletin out to healthcare professionals to help them treat and report this disease. You can reach out to us for help by calling one of our many convenient locations or by filling out our online contact form.