In our June newsletter, I described the origins of monkeypox, its clinical manifestations, and how it spreads. According to the CDC, on May 17, 2022, the United States confirmed the first monkeypox case in Massachusetts. As of July 25, 2022, there are 3,487 cases in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The median age of patients is 35 years (range 18 to 76). Of the 1,383 patients with information on sex assigned at birth, 99.1% were assigned male sex (13 assigned female sex).
The CDC recommends the following measures to avoid 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.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
- 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, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
- Avoid contact with animals that may carry Monkeypox.
The virus originates in wild animals indigenous to certain parts of Africa and can spread from an animal to a person through:
- Animal bites or scratches
- Wild game that is cooked for food
- Products made of infected animals
- Direct contact with body fluids or rashes of animals with monkeypox