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Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that can be spread from infected animals to humans and transmitted from person to person.
Most people recover on their own after a few weeks, but it can be dangerous for those at high risk of severe outcomes, such as those with weakened immune systems and pre-existing diseases such as diabetes.
People usually develop symptoms 5 to 21 days after being exposed to the monkeypox virus.
Symptoms typically last from 2 to 4 weeks and may pass through several stages with general symptoms and rash.
The rash can be painful and can affect any part of the body.
Other symptoms include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Back pain
You are contagious from the onset of first symptoms until the scabs have fallen off on their own and the skin is healed.
Monkeypox can be spread in a few different ways:
- Monkeypox is mostly spread through contact with sores or blisters.
- It can also be transmitted through contaminated objects like bedding, towels or surfaces that have been used by someone infected with monkeypox virus or through respiratory droplets such as coughs and sneezes during close, face-to-face contact with a person who has monkeypox.
- Monkeypox is not known to be a sexually transmitted infection, but sexual activities often include close contact.
While most recent global outbreaks are among people who identify as gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) , anyone can become exposed and infected through direct contact to a case of monkeypox.
If you have symptoms:
- isolate at home away from others
- immediately contact your health care provider or local health centre for advice on what to do