Monkeypox symptoms and how it spreads

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Monkeypox is a virus that is uncommon, yet is spreading in the U.S. Lorain County Public Health (LCPH) is working with the Ohio Department of Health to monitor the situation closely. Anyone can get monkeypox if they have close personal contact with someone who has symptoms of monkeypox. People with monkeypox often experience a rash, but may also have some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Respiratory symptoms (Such as a sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
  • Rash

The rash can look like pimples or blisters, and may be painful or itchy. The rash can appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

We know the virus can spread in fluid or pus from monkeypox sores. Examples of how monkeypox spreads include:

  • Person-to-person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids. 
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, such as while kissing, cuddling, or sex. 
  • From pregnant person to fetus through the placenta.
  • Touching things that were used by a person with monkeypox, including sheets, towels, and other objects that touched the infectious rash or body fluids. 

People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

More info from the CDC.