The recent outbreak of monkeypox across the world has caused growing concern. The virus is usually considered rare and has historically been constrained to those who live in, or have visited, countries in Africa.
The CDC is monitoring the situation, which puts the United States fourth on the list of 59 countries with outbreaks that have not historically encountered the disease. There have been just over 1,050 confirmed cases of monkeypox this year in the United States as of July 13, 2022.
You are at risk if you come into close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox. Current maps show all but nine states within the US have confirmed cases of monkeypox. The states with the highest numbers include California, New York, and Illinois, each with over 150 cases. Men who have sex with other men may be at an increased risk.
Monkeypox infections incubate for one to two weeks, followed by initial flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes, ending with an evolving rash that can last several weeks.
The symptoms of monkeypox are:
The rash from monkeypox is distinct and resembles blisters or pimples on the face, inside the mouth, or on the body. The rash moves to different areas of the body and the lesions change from fluid-filled, to pustules, to scabs. It can take up to four weeks for the rash to subside.
If you believe you have signs of monkeypox, self-isolate at home away from family and pets until symptoms subside. You can schedule an online appointment with your healthcare provider to confirm the diagnosis and receive supportive care.
Diagnostic testing is currently available through lesion swab sample collection through Quest Diagnostics.
If you have a rash and are concerned that you may have the virus, My Virtual Physician is able to provide monkeypox testing at our hybrid locations in Las Vegas, NV.
You can limit the spread of the virus by avoiding close contact with anyone who has monkeypox or shows symptoms. There is an incubation period of 1-2 weeks after exposure, so if you have been exposed, you may need to isolate yourself well before you have symptoms.
Frequent handwashing will also help minimize exposure and spread. Vaccination is available and recommended if you have been exposed or are at high risk of exposure.
There is no treatment for monkeypox and in most cases, the body heals on its own. A person is no longer contagious once his scabs have fallen off. In some cases, patients may require antibiotics if skin infections develop.
My Virtual Physician is committed to monitoring the monkeypox outbreak and helping our patients who may be affected. Contact us now to find out if you should be tested.