Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with a virus. There are no treatments just for monkeypox. However, vaccines and drugs used to help prevent and treat similar viruses can also work for monkeypox. Most people get better without medication.
Monkeypox can cause a rash that may look like pimples or blisters. The rash will change and turn to scabs before healing. Sometimes, people get a rash first and then get other symptoms. Other people only get a rash. Symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after infection. Most infections last two to four weeks and get better without medication. It is a self-limiting disease and usually does not require hospitalization.
Monkeypox does not spread easily between people, but it can spread from person to person through close contact.
Monkeypox is zoonotic, meaning it can spread between animals and people.
Testing is the best way to determine if an infection is monkeypox. Contact your healthcare provider if you have a new rash or have had close contact with someone who may have monkeypox.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend the monkeypox vaccine for the general public. The vaccine is available for people who have been exposed to monkeypox or are at high risk for exposure. Right now, Ohio has a very small supply of vaccine to help prevent monkeypox. The vaccine is being given to communities with the most cases to help limit spread.
People should take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox
- Do not handle 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