(Photo Credits: not listed, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Cases of monkeypox have been detected in European countries, Canada, and very recently, the United States. To be precise, it’s currently been detected in 19 countries.

Don’t panic.

They say the most important weapon is information. Why? In this case, information can help prevent people from getting or spreading the virus and so, we are here to raise awareness about it. Here are the things that you need to know about monkeypox:

  • First and foremost, what exactly is monkeypox? First discovered in 1958, monkeypox according to CDC is a “rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.”
  • It’s been theorized that in Europe, the “spread of the disease was sexual transmission among gay and bisexual men at two raves held in Spain and Belgium.” More about this here. However, monkeypox is not a typical sexually-transmitted infection (STI) and can spread to anyone regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Transmission. How does the monkeypox virus spread? Here are pieces of information we got from Building Healthy Online Communities: BHOC through their email to us and we quote:

– Direct contact with the skin lesions, sores, or scabs.

– Direct contact with saliva (kissing) with someone who has a monkeypox rash in their mouth or throat.

– Through respiratory droplets (kissing, coughing, sneezing).

– Contact with clothing or linens (such as bedding or towels) that have been used by an infected person.

– Breathing in droplets from the coughing or sneezing of someone who has a monkeypox rash in their mouth or throat.

Learn more here and here.

  • Symptoms. According to the CDC, the following are the symptoms of someone who contracted monkeypox: fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. In addition, within one to three days of developing a fever, a patient infected with the monkeypox virus develops a rash beginning on their face before spreading to other parts of the body like the palms of their hands and soles of their feet.
  • Prevention. There are a number of measures that we can take to prevent the infection and spread of the monkeypox virus. Click here for the complete list.
  • If you are feeling sick, BHOC advises that you abstain from sex and refrain from going out to bars, gyms, clubs, and other events.
  • More importantly, BHOC added, “If you or any recent partners (from the last 21 days) have unusual sores or a rash, go see a healthcare provider, either at a clinic (GetTested.CDC.gov) or ask your primary care doctor. Remind your provider that Monkeypox is circulating.”

For more information on monkeypox, click here and here.

Stay healthy and stay safe, guys!

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