Monkey pox is a viral illness in the same family as smallpox. It is very contagious. We are currently having an outbreak in the United States. Symptoms primarily are skin lesions but can also include fever, lymph node swelling and headache. Immunocompromised individuals can become very ill and need hospitalization with fever and low blood pressure.
The virus is currently being spread primarily (in the US) by skin contact with a money pox sore. They can look like herpes cold sore or early staph infection pustules. The current outbreak is spread mostly by sexual contact. Look closely for any new genital or skin lesions after having close skin to skin social contact. The local health department can help your doctor test the skin lesion for the monkey pox virus. Medications are available to treat severe disease thru the CDC. Vaccination is being offered to social groups experiencing an outbreak. Physicians and patients can get the vaccination if needed through the public health department and CDC.
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