Monkeypox: what you need to know about the virus and how to protect yourself

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Like the monkeypox virus becomes a health issue what Americans seem to hear more and more, what are some of the best ways to avoid the virus – and is it time to worry?

Fox News Digital performed on Monday with Dr. Mark Siegel, physician and professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City and Fox News correspondent on the monkeypox virus.

He said the virus is not usually dangerous, although the rash is “painful” and “may leave scars.”

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Dr. Siegel said no one should “panic” as many people have done with COVID pandemic.

“I think it’s hard to get infected,” the doctor said. Siegel on monkeypox. “I would just say to be mindful of close contact with people with rashes.”

Dr.  Mark Siegel spoke with Fox News Digital on Monday, July 25, 2022, about the monkeypox virus, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has just declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Dr. Mark Siegel spoke with Fox News Digital on Monday, July 25, 2022, about the monkeypox virus, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has just declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
(Fox News)

Saying that health officials still believe “it’s mostly about men having sex with men,” Siegel shared that this is currently their “primary focus.”

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Dr. Siegel stressed that “given the difficulty of distributing this thing, it won’t feel like another COVID.”

“I am requesting permission for emergency use of TPOXX. [an anti-viral drug]that works,” Dr. Siegel said.

“But you can’t get it even now unless you first sign up for the protocol.”

There are two vaccines for monkeypox, Siegel said, “one of them is an old live virus vaccine – it’s very similar to the smallpox vaccine I got as a child,” he added.

Monkeypox ‘won’t be like another COVID’.

“There is a national stock of this and [it’s] more than 100 million doses,” he explained.

“But the problem is we really don’t want to give this unless we have a huge outbreak because it’s a live virus vaccine” and so it “has side effects.”

There is also an “inactivated” vaccine called JYANNEOS. “This is the way,” said the doctor. Seal.

Image from 1997 provided by the CDC during its investigation of the monkeypox outbreak.  This patient had a characteristic rash during the recovery phase.

Image from 1997 provided by the CDC during its investigation of the monkeypox outbreak. This patient had a characteristic rash during the recovery phase.
(CDC via hotspot, file)

The doctor believes that medical professionals should warn the gay community, as well as advise them to remain calm.

“Again, we don’t want to panic treating this as COVID,” the doctor said. Seal.

“At the moment, I’m more concerned about sexual transmission,” he said.

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Below is some key information and “best practices” regarding monkeypox so that everyone can protect themselves as much as possible.

What is monkeypox?

“Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as the variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox,” the CDC notes on its website.

The symptoms of monkeypox are milder than those of smallpox, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.

The virus is not associated with chickenpox, says the CDC. Monkeypox was discovered in 1958, when two outbreaks of smallpox were detected in monkeys kept for research.

Why is it called monkeypox?

Despite its name, the source of the disease is unknown.

However, it is possible that African rodents and non-human primates (such as monkeys) could carry the virus and infect humans, the CDC website says.

Good hygiene is important to protect against monkeypox – handwashing is also recommended, as well as social distancing and laundry of infected people.

Good hygiene is important to protect against monkeypox – handwashing is also recommended, as well as social distancing and laundry of infected people.
(iStock)

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Monkeypox symptoms include headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, fever, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, and chills.

A rash and lesions may also appear within one to three days, according to the CDC.

What preventive measures can be taken against monkeypox?

The CDC talks about the many helpful steps we can all take to limit contact and disease transmission.

Among these tips: Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who have rashes.

Do not touch or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

Do not touch the rashes or scabs of those with monkeypox.

Do not share cutlery, plates, or cups with someone who has the virus.

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Do not touch or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Isolate at home if you have monkeypox.  Very close personal contact is responsible for the rapid spread of the virus, the CDC said.

Isolate at home if you have monkeypox. Very close personal contact is responsible for the rapid spread of the virus, the CDC said.
(iStock)

If you are in Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread the virus. Usually these are rodents and primates.

Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or anything else they’ve touched, the CDC noted.

What to do if you get monkeypox?

Isolate at home. Very close personal contact is another reason for the rapid spread of the virus.

If you have an active rash or other symptoms, “if possible, stay in a separate room or space away from people or pets,” the CDC noted.

“I will stick to my COVID protocols so I don’t get monkeypox,” said a Kensington, Maryland-based human resources specialist who recently recovered from COVID Fox News Digital said after hearing about CDC best practices.

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“I have COVID fatigue, but I also have common sense habits that I have acquired through this and I will continue,” she said.

“Wash your hands, keep your distance and try to keep house – both at home and at work,” she said.