Monkeypox is an infection most commonly found in Africa, in the west or central regions. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of cases found in the UK, although this number remains low. In this blog post, we’ll highlight the key signs and symptoms of Monkeypox, as well as the treatment and prevention methods.
Only a small number of people in the UK have been infected with Monkeypox and it is extremely unlikely that you have it if you have not been in close contact with someone who is already infected and have not recently travelled to west or central Africa.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
The first symptoms of Monkeypox usually take around 5 to 21 days to appear. These symptoms include:
- High temperature
- Muscle aches
- Swollen Glands
Alongside these symptom(s), a rash on the face and other parts of the body, including genitals, usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms. This rash begins as raised spots, which turn into blisters filled with fluid. They later form scabs and fall off.
If you have these symptoms, it is important that you isolate at home and avoid contact with other people. The symptoms usually clear up on their own within a few weeks.
How is Monkeypox Transmitted?
Anyone can get Monkeypox. As an infection, it can be transmitted from person to person through physical contact with someone who has Monkeypox blisters and scabs. This includes through sexual contact, kissing, cuddling and/or holding hands.
It can also be transmitted by close contact with someone with the infection who coughs or sneezes next to you. Touching clothing, towels and/or bedding used by someone with Monkeypox can also transmit the infection.
Monkeypox can be passed on to anyone. However, currently, cases are most prevalent in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with other men. So, if you are a part of these groups, it is particularly important to be aware of the symptoms of Monkeypox.
How is Monkeypox Treated?
Most people do not need treatment for Monkeypox as the symptoms usually clear up on their own within a few weeks. However, if you start to suffer with more severe symptoms, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment. The risk of hospital admission is higher for older people, young children and those who are on immunosuppressant medicine.
The smallpox vaccine can give a good level of protection against contracting Monkeypox, as it is a similar virus. You can find more information, including whether you are eligible for the vaccine, on the NHS website.
How to Avoid getting Monkeypox
Monkeypox is rare and only a small number of cases have been found in the UK so far. However, you can reduce the risk of contracting the infection by washing your hands regularly with soap and water, talking to your sexual partners about any symptoms they may have, and being vigilant to the signs and symptoms.
If you know someone with the infection, avoid close contact with them until symptoms of Monkeypox have gone.
If you are worried about a rash or any other symptoms you have, don’t hesitate to contact your private GP. If you are not a member of Linbury, you can find out more about the benefits here, or contact us on 0333 050 7338.