What to do if ... you have monkeypox

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes monkeypox as a viral disease that can be spread between people and certain animals.

With the recent rise in cases, Guy Sneed, D.O., chief medical officer for Hillcrest, answers key questions about the disease. 

What are common symptoms of monkeypox?

• Fever greater than or equal to 100.4 F

• Chills

• New onset of enlarged lymph nodes behind the ear, neck, under the arms or groin.

• New skin rash that may develop into small, raised bumps, much like a chicken pox or other pox-like infection.

• Areas of concern would be a raised rash around the mouth or anogenital region in certain high-risk individuals

What should I do if I have symptoms?

• Self-isolate and contact your local health department immediately for further guidance.

How long can monkeypox last?

• The virus can last anywhere from two to four weeks and people remain infectious until the lesions have scabbed and fallen off.

How can I prevent from getting monkeypox?

• Avoid direct skin-to-skin contact, such as rash, scabs or body fluids. It has been known to spread through respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact or intimate physical contact. Any person, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, can acquire and spread monkeypox. Currently the majority of known monkeypox cases are among gay men.

For information on the monkeypox vaccine, please contact your local health department. The complete listing of county health departments in Oklahoma can be found here.