By Musisi Yiga John Updated at 1921 EAT on 07th June 2022.
• This guidance will be updated regularly.
Monkeypox is a virus that causes illness in humans and is usually found, or endemic, in central and West Africa.
Since 13 May 2022, monkeypox has been found in 29 countries outside the endemic areas. Monkeypox causes fever, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes and low energy with a skin rash that usually starts one to three days after the fever.
Multiple skin lesions can be found on the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, mouth or genitals. In the current outbreak, some people are experiencing anal and genital lesions.
•How is Monkeypox transmitted to person to person?
People with monkeypox are most infectious when they have symptoms. The virus is transmitted by close physical contact. Skin lesions, respiratory droplets, bodily fluids and contaminated bedding or towels can all present a risk of being exposed to monkeypox. Scientists are currently investigating if monkeypox can be transmitted sexually or whether it is from skin-to-skin contact with a sexual partner.
•who is affected by Monkeypox?
Anyone of any age or sexuality, with or without underlying health conditions can get monkeypox. A person who has close contact with someone with symptoms of monkeypox is at the highest risk.
•What you should do if you have symptoms of monkeypox ?
If you think you have symptoms of monkeypox or have been in close contact with a person with symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for advice. Isolate at home, if possible, to reduce the chance of transmission to other people. Your healthcare provider will help you get a test for monkeypox and advise you on what steps to take to stay healthy. Close contacts of someone who is confirmed to have monkeypox should be monitored daily for the onset of symptoms for a period of 21 days. This is thought to be how long it takes for the virus to cause symptoms.
•How you can protect yourself and others from Monkeypox?
Try to avoid direct skin-to-skin or face-to-face contact, including sexual contact, with anyone who has symptoms. If you are in close contact with someone with symptoms, encourage them to self-isolate and seek healthcare advice. If you live with someone with symptoms, ask them to cover any skin lesions with clothing; regularly wash your hands; and wear a facemask and disposable gloves when providing physical care or handling their clothing or bedding. Scientists are currently investigating if monkeypox can be transmitted sexually. Using condoms helps prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
While we do not yet know if condoms reduce the risk of transmitting monkeypox, some health agencies are recommending to avoid sex until symptoms clear and wear condoms during sex for eight weeks after.
•Is there a vaccine for Monkeypox ?
Vaccines for smallpox also provide some protection against monkeypox. People who had a smallpox vaccine before the virus was eradicated in 1980 may have protection against monkeypox.
One vaccine is approved for monkeypox in Canada and the United States (in the European Union, this vaccine is approved for smallpox). Vaccines, where available, are being used on a case-by-case basis for close contacts of people with monkeypox.