Monkey what?

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Monkey what?

Though monkeypox is rare, its emerging presence has prompted world leaders to declare the virus a public health emergency. Declarations have come from the World Health Organization, US government, as well as the state of Illinois.

Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus. It is in the orthopoxvirus family, which includes smallpox. It is not related to chickenpox. Monkeypox is rarely fatal but can be painful, lasting approximately two to four weeks.

Monkeypox is transmitted through close, personal contact, including kissing, sex, and other skin-to-skin or face-to-face contact. It spreads through infected skin lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, or contaminated materials, such as bedding.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash or sores that look like pimples or blisters typically develop on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body.

As of August 8, 2022, there were more than 28,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide. The US had the most cases (7,509), followed by Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Illinois has reported 672 probable and confirmed cases of monkeypox (no cases in Edgar County), and Indiana has reported 68 cases (no cases in Vigo County), according to state health departments.

Monkeypox was discovered in monkeys with pox-like disease in 1958. It was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2003, the first monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa occurred in the US and was linked to contact with infected pet prairie dogs. These pets had been housed with Gambian pouched rats and dormice that had been imported into the country from Ghana.

There is no proven treatment for monkeypox and it usually goes away on its own, according to the Cleveland Clinic. However, because of genetic similarities in the viruses, antiviral drugs used to treat smallpox may be used to treat monkeypox infections.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you notice a new or unexplained rash or other monkeypox symptoms.