Counseling and Wellness Services (CWS) is monitoring the rise in Monkeypox virus (MPV) cases. Thousands in the United States and more than 500 cases have already been identified in Washington State. More information, data, and demographics on the virus can be found on the CDC's monkeypox webpage.
What is Monkeypox Virus (MPV)?
Monkeypox is a rare disease, that does not spread easily between people. You can get monkeypox from close skin-to-skin contact with a person who has a rash or scabs from monkeypox. Examples of this could include, hugging, cuddling, massage, or close contact sports. It could also include spit droplet during close conversations and kissing. Monkeypox can also spread through sexual contact including touching the genitals, oral, anal or vaginal sex. You can also contract monkeypox from contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding or towels), and surface that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
If you get monkeypox, you may have a fever, chills, sore muscles, headache or tiredness and then get a rash. You might get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. You might only get a rash without having the others symptoms, the rash may look like pimples or blisters. The rash is usually on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of your body like your hands, chest and genitals. You should be better within 2-4 weeks, but you should see a healthcare provider as soon as you get symptoms that you believe might be monkeypox.
The best way to protect yourself from monkeypox is to avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has a rash.
If you know a friend or family member that has been diagnosed with monkeypox:
-Try to avoid contact with them if possible.
-If you must be within 6 feet of them, you should wear a respirator or well-fitting mask and they must wear a well-fitting mask.
-Do not share silverware or cups
-Do not touch their sheets, blankets, towels, or clothing. If you do touch any of these things, you should wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
If you are sexually active:
-Talk to your partner about any recent illnesses.
-Be aware of any new or unexplained rashes on your body or your partner's body, including the genitals and butt.
-If you or your partner have recently been sick, currently have symptoms of monkeypox, or have a new or unexplained rash, do not kiss, cuddle, hug, touch each other's genitals, or have oral, vaginal or anal sex.