What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a virus that is similar to but milder than smallpox. People who get monkeypox typically have a skin rash. The 2022 outbreak has occurred on many continents and has been spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox.
Dr. Saint Anthony Amofah, Chief Medical Officer at CHI, spoke about monkeypox on Black Health hosted by Dr. Michelle Kirwan.
To check out their interview, CLICK HERE.
What are the symptoms?
People with monkeypox get a rash on the skin that may be near the genitals or anus. It can also present in other areas of the body like hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
The rash appears as small pimples or blisters that are painful or itchy and then becomes a scab and eventually heals.
Flu-like symptoms may also happen such as:
People have experienced many or all of these symptoms, others may only experience a rash. Monkeypox typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
What to do if you have monkeypox symptoms
- Avoid close contact with people, including sex or being intimate with anyone, until you have seen a healthcare provider.
- Notify people you have been in close contact with that they may have been exposed to monkeypox
- If you believe you might have it, call CHI at (305) 252-4820.
- When you see a healthcare provider, wear a mask.
If you know you have been exposed to monkeypox and need to get tested,
you can call 305-576-1234 (English #470, Spanish #471, Creole #124)
How to protect yourself from monkeypox
Anyone who has come into close, personal contact with someone infected with monkeypox can get the virus.
Data suggests that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases in 2022.
Getting vaccinated against monkeypox is recommended to prevent infection. Consider taking these other steps toward prevention:
- Take a break from close-contact activities that increase exposure to monkeypox
- Avoid spaces where intimate, skin-to-skin contact with multiple people may occur like back rooms, saunas, or sex clubs
- Using protective, barrier materials like condoms, gloves, clothing or leather or latex gear during sexual activity may reduce exposure
- Avoid kissing, exchanging saliva or close, face-to-face contact
- Wash your hands, sex objects, bedding, towels and clothes after sexual activity
- Exchange contact information with any new sexual partner to allow for follow-up, if needed
Get vaccinated against monkeypox
CHI is offering the monkeypox vaccine to the most at-risk and immunocompromised people including:
- Those who have had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox
- Those who have had contact with someone who is suspected of having monkeypox
- Laboratory workers who handle monkeypox cultures
- Medical professionals performing monkeypox testing
To get the vaccine, call for an appointment or walk-in during the time seen below: