People who often engage with possibly infected animals or those who live with or have close personal relationships (including sexual relationships) with a person who is monkeypox-infected are the most at risk. Health practitioners should follow infection prevention and control protocols when caring for patients with monkeypox to protect themselves.
Rarely, neonates, young children, and people with underlying immune deficiencies can die from monkeypox. These people could have more severe symptoms.
The smallpox vaccine may provide some protection against monkeypox. However, it is unlikely that younger people received the smallpox vaccination because immunisation programmes were stopped when the illness was proclaimed eradicated in most of the world in 1980. Those who have had the smallpox vaccine should keep up their preventative efforts to protect others as well as themselves.
How can I prevent getting the monkey pox and passing it on to others?
You can reduce your risk of getting monkeypox by avoiding close contact with any individuals or animals that may be ill. Any location that could have picked up a virus from an infectious individual should be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. Keep yourself informed about the incidence of monkeypox in your neighbourhood and be honest about any symptoms you or anybody you come into close contact with may be feeling (especially during sexual activity). If you think you might have monkeypox, you can protect others by seeking medical attention and remaining isolated until you’ve been evaluated and tested. If you have monkeypox that has been identified as probable or proved, you should stay to yourself until all of your lesions have crusted over, the scabs have gone off, and a new layer of skin has formed beneath. This will prevent you from spreading the virus to others. To determine whether you should isolate at home or in a medical facility, see a health practitioner.
Until more is understood about the transmission of sexually transmitted illnesses through sexual fluids, use condoms as a precaution when engaging in sexual activity for 12 weeks following your recovery.
What should I do if I believe I may have monkeypox symptoms or if I’ve been around someone who does?
Keep an eye out for symptoms for 21 days after your last exposure if you have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox or have been in a place where the virus may have been prevalent. Avoid close physical contact with people as much as you can, but if it’s unavoidable, let them know that you’ve recently been exposed to monkeypox.
If you think you could be suffering monkeypox symptoms, go to your healthcare provider for advice, an assessment, and medical attention. Until you get the results of your exam, if you can, keep to yourself. Maintain a clean handshake.
Your doctor will advise you on how to treat the virus, including whether to isolate at home or in a hospital, if you test positive for monkeypox.