Monkey pox – a disease less severe than smallpox – is endemic in 11 countries in West and Central Africa.
The virus is spread through a bite or direct contact with the blood, flesh, or bodily fluids of an infected animal. Initial symptoms include a high fever before a chickenpox-like rash appears on the hands and face.
Reports suggest that humans with monkeypox can be contagious for up to 4 weeks due to the accompanying skin lesions. The study noted that some patients could be contagious for up to 10 weeks.
The chickenpox-like blisters are thought to be contagious until completely healed.
Experts are warning of the risks from sex and human-to-human contact or with items used by monkeypox patients. It is mainly items such as blankets, sheets, pillows, clothes…
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that people are not contagious during the incubation period of the virus. This phase can last from 5 to 21 days, but averages 7 to 14 days.
Medical expert at the University of Southampton, Dr Michael Head, informed: “Based on previous outbreaks of monkeypox and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), UK Health Authority, the infectious period (when the virus can be transmitted to others) is the length of time periods of rash and blisters, lasting for 2 weeks and longer.
People at high risk of coming into contact with cases are advised to isolate for up to 21 days.
The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) warns people with multiple sex partners – regardless of sexual orientation – at higher risk.
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