Do I Have Monkeypox?

Published: July 18, 2022
By Melody Berg, PharmD, MPH, BCPS

Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus. It spreads by coming into contact with an infected person by touching their rash or sores. This includes during sex, when skin is touching skin for a period of time. You can also get Monkeypox by coming into contact with infected animals.

Do I have Monkeypox?
Symptoms of Monkeypox begin 5 days to 3 weeks after exposure. Initially you may feel like you have the flu, with symptoms like a fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. Within a few days of the start of fever, a rash begins.

Not everyone develops all of the symptoms, and the rash may appear as only a few lesions. If you think you may have been exposed to Monkeypox or have Monkeypox symptoms, talk to your doctor or pharmacist and isolate yourself from others.

What does the Monkeypox rash look like?
A Monkeypox rash can appear as spots, pimples, blisters, lesions, or crater-like ulcers. It can start in one area of your body (including the genitals or in your mouth) and spread to other parts of your body.

Does the Monkeypox rash itch?
No, not at first. The rash goes through several phases. First it develops into fluid-filled pustules that may be painful. Once the lesions start to heal and scab over, the rash may become itchy.

Summary
The disease typically runs its course in two to four weeks. Most people with Monkeypox tend feel better on their own. At this time there are currently no treatments for Monkeypox, but your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter products to relive your symptoms or prescribe an antibiotic if the lesions become infected.

Click here to learn more about how Monkeypox is treated, symptoms, and ways to prevent the disease.

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