UW Health expert details the spread and symptoms of monkeypox

What to look out for and how the spread of monkeypox could affect you
South Dakota only has one case of Monkeypox -- but that might change due to an influx in...
South Dakota only has one case of Monkeypox -- but that might change due to an influx in visitors.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 1:13 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - An expert from UW Health provided information Friday to help the public understand the risks, symptoms and potential treatment options for monkeypox.

Dr. Dan Shirley explained that although it’s less transmissible and typically less severe than smallpox, there’s still an opportunity for it to be a serious disease.

“Monkeypox is primarily spread from close, extended contact with an infected individual’s rash, lesions, or possibly body fluids,” Dr. Shirley said.

The most important tactic is to avoid close contact with individuals who have a known monkeypox infection or symptoms that are common with the disease. It’s also recommended to avoid sharing bedsheets, towels or eating/drinking utensils with an infected individual.

Monkeypox symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes, however, the key distinguishing symptom is new, unexplained lesions on the skin. Dr. Shirley articulated these lesions can look like abnormal bumps, blisters, ulcers, or sores.

The disease is a public health concern for everyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The risk of contracting it is still low, however Dr. Shirley said it’s important to be mindful of symptoms to avoid contraction and spread of the disease.

“As health experts learn more, risk factors, prevention measures and advice are likely to evolve,” Dr. Shirley concluded.

Monkeypox vaccinations are available for those who have certain risk factors, making them more likely to have been exposed to the virus.

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