Monkeypox pre-registration link
Human monkeypox is a rare but serious illness caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which can infect humans and other animals, such as monkeys and rodents. The human monkeypox virus belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.
Historically, most human cases of monkeypox have been identified in Central and West Africa. Rarely, human monkeypox cases have been identified outside of Central or West Africa, though many cases reported links to those regions, either through travel or exposure to humans or animals that had been infected in those areas.
In May 2022, several clusters of human monkeypox cases were reported in countries that don’t normally report human monkeypox, including the United States. It’s not clear how the people were exposed to monkeypox, but early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
On June 16, 2022, MDH reported a presumed human monkeypox virus infection in a Maryland resident. Please refer to the CDC website for current Maryland and national case counts.
signs & symptoms:
- Muscle aches and backache
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
- Swollen lymph nodes
how is it spread?
- direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
- respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
- touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
- pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- 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.
- In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched.
- Healthcare providers treating potentially-infected patients should ensure that the patient is properly isolated and that the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is used.
Maryland Department of Health videos: