By now, you may have heard that there is a monkeypox outbreak in the U.S. Even though new numbers show higher infection rates, your chance of catching the monkeypox virus is still low. You can only get monkeypox if you have skin-to-skin contact with somebody who already has it.
While news reports have focused on the risk for men who have sex with men (MSM), we all need to take this outbreak seriously. Anyone can get monkeypox.
To help you stay safe and up-to-date, Equitas Health and the Ohio Department of Health will be sharing monkeypox info kits on this site and at https://odh.ohio.gov/ soon.
Here are some symptoms of monkeypox:
- Rash with blisters on face, hands, feet, eyes, mouth and/or genitals.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- Muscle aches.
- Low energy.
Monkeypox is spread from person to person by:
- Touching the rash, scabs, or body fluids.
- Touching items that made contact with the rash, scabs, or body fluids.
- Close face-to-face contact with someone who has the virus.
- Kissing, cuddling, or having sex with someone who has the virus.
- Being scratched or bitten by, or eating the meat of, an animal that carries the virus.
- Pregnant people can spread the virus to their baby through the placenta.
Cases of monkeypox have been seen recently among men who have sex with men. It must be noted that monkeypox is not a gay men’s disease. Anyone can get or spread monkeypox, regardless of their sexuality.
If you believe you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should stay home and call your doctor. Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks.
To learn more about monkeypox, visit these resources online:
- CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/about.html
- World Health Organization advice for men who have sex with men: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/monkeypox-public-health-advice-for-men-who-have-sex-with-men
- Ohio Department of Health Monkeypox Advisory: https://odh.ohio.gov/media-center/odh-news-releases/odh-news-release-06-13-22
- Cleveland Clinic Monkeypox Homepage: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22371-monkeypox
5 Things to Know about Monkeypox (CDC)
Monkeypox numbers, treatment and prevention (AMA)