Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as the variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Symptoms are similar to those of smallpox but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
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. Symptoms include:
Two vaccines are available, and currently approved in El Paso for individuals having close contact with a confirmed case. To avoid and limit exposure please follow these steps:
Avoid close, skin to skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
Avoid contact with objects & materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
There are no treatments specifically for Monkeypox virus infections. In some cases antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems. However, most people get better without medication and will recover fully with self-isolation of 2-4 weeks.
If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.