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What to Know About Monkeypox

What to Know About Monkeypox

The New York TimesTracking the virus

What to Know About Monkeypox

The New York TimesTracking the virus

Getty Images

Monkeypox cases are increasing worldwide, including in the United States, which has declared the outbreak a national health emergency.

Here’s a closer look at the virus ->

What to Know About Monkeypox

The New York TimesTracking the virus

What is monkeypox?

Thevirus is similar to smallpox, but symptoms are less severe. It was primarily found in parts of Central and West Africa, but recently it has spread to dozens of countries and has infected tens of thousands of people, overwhelmingly men who have sex with men.

What to Know About Monkeypox

The New York TimesTracking the virus

Getty Images

What are the symptoms?

People who get sick may experience a fever, headache, back and muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, or exhaustion. Most people also develop a rash that can spread all over the body or can be limited to a few pustules in one area, like the genitals.

What to Know About Monkeypox

The New York TimesTracking the virus

How does it spread?

The virus can spread from person to person through close physical contact with infectious lesions or pustules, by touching items — like clothing or bedding — that previously touched the rash, or via the respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing.

What to Know About Monkeypox

The New York TimesTracking the virus

Getty Images

How do you get tested?

There is no way to test for monkeypox if you have only flulike symptoms. But if you start to notice red lesions, you should contact your primary care physician, who can order a test. You can also be tested at urgent care centers or sexual health clinics.

What to Know About Monkeypox

The New York TimesTracking the virus

What is the treatment?

If you get sick, the treatment for monkeypox generally involves symptom management. The antiviral drug tecovirimat, also known as TPOXX, can occasionally be used for severe cases. The Jynneos vaccine can also help reduce symptoms, even if taken after exposure.

What to Know About Monkeypox

The New York TimesTracking the virus

Christophe Simon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Who can get the vaccine?

Anyone who has had a confirmed or suspected exposure to monkeypox, or is considered high risk for an infection can get the Jynneos vaccine. A recent emergency use authorization also allows children under 18 to receive the vaccine if they are at high risk.

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