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Monkeypox: What you need to know about the virus and how to protect yourself


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As the monkeypox virus becomes a health concern Americans seem to hear about more and more, what are some best practices to avoid the virus? Is it time to worry?

Fox News Digital spoke Monday with Dr. Marc Siegel, a physician and professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, and a Fox News contributor, about the monkeypox virus.

He said the virus is usually not serious, although the rash is “painful” and “may leave scars,” he said.

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Dr. Siegel said no one should “panic,” as many people have with the COVID pandemic.

“I think it’s hard to catch,” Dr. Siegel said of monkeypox. “I would just say be careful with close contact with people with rashes.”

Dr. Marc Siegel spoke to Fox News Digital on Monday, July 25, 2022 about the monkeypox virus, which the World Health Organization (WHO) just declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) .
(FoxNews)

Saying that health officials still believe “it’s primarily in the men who have sex with men community,” Siegel shared that this is currently their “primary focus.”

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Dr. Siegel stressed that “given how difficult this thing is to spread, it’s not going to be like another COVID.”

“I am requesting an emergency use authorization for TPOXX [an anti-viral drug]that works,” said Dr. Siegel.

“But you can’t even get it now unless you sign up for a protocol first.”

There are two vaccines for monkeypox, Siegel said, “one which is the old live virus vaccine, which looks a lot like the smallpox vaccine I had as a kid,” he added.

Monkeypox “is not going to be like another COVID”.

“There is a national reserve of that and [it’s] more than 100 million doses,” he explained.

“But the problem with that is we really don’t want to give that unless we have a big outbreak because it’s a live virus vaccine” and as such “has side effects.”

There is also an “inactivated” vaccine called JYANNEOS. “That’s the way to go,” Dr. Siegel said.

A 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into a monkeypox outbreak.  This patient was showing the characteristic rash appearance during his recovery stage.

A 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into a monkeypox outbreak. This patient was showing the characteristic rash appearance during his recovery stage.
(CDC via AP, File)

The doctor believes a word of warning to the gay community is appropriate from health professionals, along with advice to remain calm.

“Again, we don’t want to panic, treating this like COVID,” Dr. Siegel said.

“I’m more concerned about sexual transmission right now,” he said.

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Below is key information and “best practices” when it comes to monkeypox, so everyone can protect themselves as much as possible.

What is monkeypox?

“Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox virus, the virus that causes smallpox “, the CDC notes on its website.

The symptoms of monkeypox are milder than the symptoms of monkeypox, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.

The virus is not related to chickenpox, the CDC says. Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.

Why is it called monkeypox?

Despite its name, the origin of the disease is unknown.

However, it is possible that African rodents and non-human primates (such as monkeys) could harbor the virus and infect people, the CDC says on its website.

Good hygiene is important to stay safe from monkeypox: washing hands, maintaining healthy distances, and washing clothes of infected people are also recommended.

Good hygiene is important to stay safe from monkeypox: washing hands, maintaining healthy distances, and washing clothes of infected people are also recommended.
(iStock)

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Symptoms of monkeypox include headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, fever, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, and chills.

Within one to three days, a rash and lesions may also develop, according to the CDC.

What preventive measures can be taken against monkeypox?

The CDC shares many healthy actions we can all take to limit contact and spread of disease.

Among these tips: Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash.

Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

Do not touch the rashes or scabs of anyone who has monkeypox.

Do not share eating utensils, plates, or cups with someone who has the virus.

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Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Isolate yourself at home if you develop monkeypox.  Very close personal contact is one cause of the rapid spread of the virus, the CDC said.

Isolate yourself at home if you develop monkeypox. Very close personal contact is one cause of the rapid spread of the virus, the CDC said.
(iStock)

If you are in Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread the virus. Normally they would be rodents and primates.

Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or anything else they’ve touched, the CDC said.

What do you do if you get monkeypox?

Isolate at home. Very close personal contact is another cause of the rapid spread of the virus.

If you have an active rash or other symptoms, “stay in a separate room or area, away from people or pets you live with, when possible,” the CDC said.

“I’m going to stick to my COVID protocols to keep myself safe from monkeypox,” a human resources professional from Kensington, Maryland, who recently recovered from COVID, told Fox News Digital after learning best practices from CDC.

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“I have COVID fatigue, but I also have common sense habits that I got from it, which I will continue,” he said.

“Wash your hands, keep healthy distances and improve your cleaning practices, both at home and at work,” he also said.



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