Monkeypox continues to cause concern

The photo above is a bar graph that shows what age and gender are mostly affected by monkeypox.


The photo above is a bar graph that shows what age and gender are mostly affected by monkeypox.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a disease caused by infection from the monkeypox virus. It comes from the same virus family as smallpox (variola virus). The virus was found in 1958 when a colony of monkeys that were kept for research appeared to have pus-filled blisters spread throughout their bodies. Monkeys, along with African-rodents, are able to carry the disease and spread it to humans. Prior to the 2022 outbreak, other cases of monkeypox been reported in central and western African countries. The first reported human case was reported in 1970.

How does it spread and who can be infected?

Monkeypox spreads through skin-to-skin contact with other people. It can also spread by touching an infected person’s clothing or anything that they have touched.

You can also get the virus by touching, being scratched/bitten, or even eating an infected animal. At this time data shows that men who identify as gay or bisexual make up a majority of cases, but anyone regardless of sexual orientation can get the virus through any type of physical/personal close contact. Men aged 25-45 are at a higher risk than women. 

What symptoms should you look out for?

Monkeypox can appear on the hands, chest, feet, face, and mouth. At first, there is a rash that then turns into what looks to be pimples, but they are painful to the touch and itchy.  According to the CDC, 97.5% of people reported a rash, 66.4% reported having a fever and 63.7% reported having malaise (tiredness) as of September 6th, 2022. Other symptoms besides the top three are chills,  headaches, sore throat, muscle aches, and itching. Monkeypox only lasts anywhere from 2-4 weeks, if you have it then it is best if you isolate yourself and keep anything you touch away from others. It can help stop the spread of the virus to others including your pets. Many people recover after the 2-4 week time frame without medical intervention.

Statistics in the US.

As of September 19th, 2022 on the CDC website, there have been a total of 23,893 U.S. cases of monkeypox, Pennsylvania has 703 cases, and globally there are 62,406. There has been 1 reported death from the virus in the U.S.