You have already probably heard about the outbreak of monkeypox in the Midwest. With more than different cases popping up in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas, it is hard not to worry about this rare but serious disease.
The majority of those affected by monkeypox are children so you are now probably agitated to look up the words, what to know about the monkeypox outbreak.
Learn the symptoms of monkeypox, if children can get it, and ways to stay healthy with the help of City Doc.
What Is Monkeypox Outbreak?
When most people hear the term “monkeypox,” they automatically think of some kind of cross between a monkey and smallpox. However, that is not exactly what monkeypox is.
The monkeypox is a virus that is closely related to human smallpox. The last recorded case of smallpox was in 1977. However, monkeypox still occurs in some parts of Africa. The first recorded outbreak of monkeypox outbreak outside of Africa according to World Health Organization was in the United States in 2003.
The monkeypox virus is spread to humans from contact with infected animals, usually rodents or primates. The current outbreak in the Midwest is believed to have started with pet prairie dogs that were exposed to an infected African rodent.
The monkeypox virus can also be spread from person to person through direct contact with lesions or through the air. However, human-to-human transmission is much less common than animal-to-human transmission.
How Do You Get Monkeypox?
Unlike smallpox, which was spread through the air, monkeypox is not as contagious according to the World Health Organization. You can only get monkeypox by coming in contact with an infected animal or person.
You are most likely to contract monkeypox if you live in or travel to an area where the virus is common, such as parts of Africa. Some specific examples of how you can get a monkeypox infection include:
- Touching or handling the blood, body fluids, or skin lesions of an infected animal.
- Eating food that has been contaminated with the virus (usually through contact with an infected animal).
- Coming in direct contact with a person who has monkeypox (like touching).
- Breathing in air particles that contain the virus (this is much less common).
It is also possible to get monkeypox if you come in contact with an infected animal. This can happen if you touch an infected animal or if you breathe in particles from an infected animal’s cage.
What Is the Risk for Monkeypox in Kids?
Kids are at a higher risk for monkeypox than adults. This is because they are more likely to come in contact with an infected animal or person through respiratory droplets. They are also more likely to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth after coming in contact with the virus.
That being said, the risk for monkeypox outbreak is still relatively low. There have only been a few hundred cases from past outbreaks of monkeypox reported in the United States since 2003.
Should I Be Worried About Monkeypox in School or Child Care?
Schools and childcare facilities should not be worried about monkeypox. This is because the virus is not highly contagious and can only be spread through direct contact with an infected animal or person.
However, it is still important for schools and childcare facilities to be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox. This is so they can quickly identify any possible cases and take steps to prevent the spread of the virus.
What Are the Symptoms of Monkeypox?
With any disease, it is important to be aware of the symptoms. This way you can quickly identify a possible case and take steps to prevent the spread of the disease.
The monkeypox symptoms usually appear about 5 to 21 days after exposure to the virus. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Fever Fever is one of the most common symptoms of monkeypox. A fever is when your body temperature is above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). You will experience a sudden onset of fever that comes on quickly.
- Rash A rash is another common symptom of monkeypox. The monkeypox rash usually starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. The rash looks like smallpox, with lesions that fill with pus. These lesions eventually turn into scabs.
- Headache Another common symptom of monkeypox is a headache. You will experience a throbbing headache that is worse when you move your head. This symptom usually comes on along with the fever.
- Muscle Aches When you experience a fever, you will also often have muscle aches. These aches can be mild or severe. They usually affect the whole body, not just one specific area. This type of symptom might be similar to the flu.
- Swollen Lymph Nodes Your lymph nodes are small glands that help to fight infection. They are located in your neck, armpits, and groin. When you have monkeypox, your lymph nodes will become swollen. This is usually one of the first symptoms that appear.
- Conjunctivitis Conjunctivitis is another common symptom of monkeypox. This is when your eyes become red and irritated. You might also have a discharge from your eyes. Conjunctivitis is also known as pink eye.
- Loss of Appetite Many people with monkeypox also experience a loss of appetite. This can lead to weight loss and weakness.
- Fatigue Acquiring a monkeypox virus will also lead to feelings of fatigue. This is when you feel very tired and sleepy. Fatigue can last for weeks or even months after the other symptoms have gone away.
- Difficulty Breathing In some cases, monkeypox outbreak can also cause difficulty breathing. This is because the virus can cause inflammation in your lungs. This can make it hard to breathe and may even lead to pneumonia.
When Should I Consider Testing My Child for Monkeypox?
It is essential to be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox so you can quickly identify a possible case according to public health officials.
If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, you should consider taking them to see a doctor.
The best way to determine if your child has monkeypox is through a blood test. This test can show if your child has antibodies to the virus. Antibodies are proteins that help fight infection. If your child has monkeypox, their body will produce antibodies to the virus.
However, it can take up to 21 days for the antibodies to show up in your child’s blood. This is because it takes time for the body to produce them. Pediatric urgent care Fort Worth can provide you with the testing and care that you need.
If you cannot wait that long, your doctor might also do a skin biopsy. This is when a small sample of skin is taken from your child. The skin will be tested for the presence of the monkeypox virus.
They might also order other tests, such as a chest X-ray, to look for signs of pneumonia. There are currently no specific treatments for monkeypox, but your doctor and Dallas urgent care can provide supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
How Can You Prevent Monkeypox?
There are multiple ways you can help prevent the spread of monkeypox in kids and adults. Luckily, many of these methods are similar to the steps you take to prevent other illnesses, such as the flu.
- You can help prevent monkeypox by:
- Washing your hands often.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that may be contaminated.
- Staying up-to-date on your vaccinations, particularly the smallpox vaccine.
If you live in an area where monkeypox is present, it is also important to avoid contact with wild animals. This is because the virus is usually spread to humans through contact with an infected animal.
You should avoid touching or handling any dead animals, especially those infected animals. If you must touch a dead animal, make sure to wear gloves. The public health emergency also encourages people to avoid eating bushmeat.
You can also help prevent the spread of monkeypox loutbreak by being aware of the symptoms. If you or your child starts to show signs of monkeypox, it is important to see a doctor right away.
By getting treated early, you can help prevent the virus from spreading to other people. You can also visit City Doc as we offer different types of Urgent Care services that can help you.
What Should I Do If My Child Has Monkeypox?
If you think your child has monkeypox, it is important to seek medical care right away from a public health emergency. Monkeypox outbreak can be a serious illness, so it is essential to get treatment as soon as possible.
Call your doctor or take your child to the nearest pediatric urgent care location. When you call, let the staff know that your child might have monkeypox outbreak as part of international health regulations. This will help them take steps to prevent the virus from spreading to other people.
At the doctor’s office, your child will likely be given a physical exam. The doctor will also ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. They might also order tests, such as a blood test or skin biopsy, to diagnose monkeypox.
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox outbreak. However, your child will likely be given supportive care from pediatric urgent care Dallas to help relieve their symptoms. This can include rest, fluids, and pain medication. In severe cases, hospitalization might be necessary.
Is There a Monkeypox Vaccine?
Yes, there is a monkeypox vaccine. However, it is not currently available in the United States, unlike smallpox vaccination.
The monkeypox vaccine is made from a live but weakened form of the virus. It is given through a series of shots over a period of time. The vaccine is effective at preventing monkeypox outbreak, but it is not 100% effective.
If you are planning to travel to an area where monkeypox is present, you should talk to your doctor about getting the vaccine. It is important to note that the vaccine is only available through CDC or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How long does the monkeypox virus last?
The monkeypox virus usually lasts for 2 to 4 weeks according to the previously reported cases. But in some cases, it can last for up to 6 weeks. This depends on the individual and the severity of their illness.
What does monkeypox look like in children?
Monkeypox outbreak in children usually starts with a fever, headache, and muscle aches. This is followed by a rash that begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. The rash can be painful and can lead to blister-like lesions. Just like any other rash, monkeypox can cause itching.
Can monkeypox be cured?
There is no specific cure for monkeypox. However, most people recover from the illness without any long-term effects. Make sure that you follow your doctor’s instructions and get plenty of rest. You should also drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated.
How does monkeypox start?
Monkeypox starts from simple exposure to an infected animal. It can also start from contact with someone who is already infected. In some cases, it is also possible to get monkeypox from handling contaminated bedding or clothing.
When it comes to symptoms, it starts in a simple way with a fever, headache, and body pains but quickly develops into a full-blown rash. The incubation period is between 2 to 4 weeks.