Monkeypox submitted by
Rebecca Johnson BSN, RN
SEK Multi-County Health Department
Administrator/SEK Local Health Officer
*524 S. Lowman, Ft. Scott, KS 66701
There have been 40 identified cases in the US as of 6/8/22, but none have been reported in the 4-state area so far.
What is it?
Monkeypox 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.
Monkeypox was discovered in monkeys in 1958 and the first human case recorded was in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The natural reservoir of Monkeypox remains unknown. However, African rodents and monkeys may harbor the virus and infect people.
What are the signs and symptoms?
In humans, the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. The main difference between symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not. The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. Lesions progress through stages before falling off. The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks.
How does it spread?
Monkeypox spreads between people primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. Monkeypox can also spread during intimate contact between people.
How can I prevent Monkeypox?
- Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).
- Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with a sick animal.
- Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
- Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.
JYNNEOSTM (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) is an attenuated live virus vaccine which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox. On November 3, 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend JYNNEOS pre-exposure prophylaxis as an alternative to ACAM2000 for certain persons at risk for exposure to orthopoxviruses.
What is the treatment?
Many individuals infected with monkeypox virus have a mild, self-limiting disease course in the absence of specific therapy. However, the prognosis for monkeypox depends on multiple factors such as previous vaccination status, initial health status, concurrent illnesses, and comorbidities among others. Currently there is no specific treatment approved for monkeypox virus infections. However, antivirals developed for use in patients with smallpox may prove beneficial.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 6). Monkeypox. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 9, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html