Community info: What to know about monkeypox

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection endemic to Central and West Africa. Until recently, it was rarely seen in those who traveled outside of these regions. Since May 2022, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been monitoring an outbreak of monkeypox that has spread across multiple countries that don’t normally report the disease, including the U.S. Even though this disease is new to Arizona, we have the tools needed to quickly respond to this outbreak.

At this time, the risk for most people remains low as the disease is largely transmitted through close, intimate contact. Although monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, most cases in the U.S. have reported some level of sexual contact. Vaccines and treatment are available in Arizona with coordination through your healthcare provider. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and ADHS will continue to update this website as more information becomes available.

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure (close contact) to the virus. People with the disease are considered contagious from the time symptoms begin and until the rash* has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed (usually 2 to 4 weeks). Symptoms include: fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

Along with the above sypmotoms, a rash will be located on any part of the body, can look like pimples or blisters, and may be painful or itchy

A rash will be present in all cases of monkeypox, where other symptoms may not be.

Monkeypox can spread a few different ways, but often occurs through close skin-to-skin contact with someone infected with the virus.

A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta

Because monkeypox is spread through either direct contact with lesions and body fluids, or from exposure to respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact with an infected person, the risk to many people remains low.

To limit exposure, wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

If a rash occurs:

An individual should follow isolation and prevention practices until (1) the rash can be evaluated by a healthcare provider, (2) testing is performed, if recommended by their healthcare provider, and (3) results of testing are available and are negative.

If other signs or symptoms are present, but there is no rash:

An individual should follow isolation and prevention practices for 5 days after the development of any new sign or symptom, even if this 5-day period extends beyond the original 21-day monitoring period. If 5 days have passed without the development of any new sign or symptom and a thorough skin and oral examination reveals no new skin changes such as rashes or lesions, isolation and prevention practices for monkeypox can be stopped.

If a new sign or symptom develops at any point during the 21-day monitoring period (including during a 5-day isolation if applicable), then a new 5-day period should begin where the individual follows isolation and prevention practices.

More information is available at Arizona Department of Health Services website:

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