Monkeypox - What We Know

August 2, 2022

In May 2022 new cases of a rare infection called Monkeypox, typically limited to Africa, began spreading within Europe and North America. This infection is a milder form of smallpox that has seen a gradual increase in cases over the last decade. We understand there is increasing concern amid the Monkeypox outbreak as we see cases increasing in the Sacramento region. We are closely monitoring the situation and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the State and County Departments of Public Health.

Symptoms we see with Monkeypox:

  • Swollen lymph nodes - this is a key symptom that distinguishes Monkeypox from other pox diseases
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash - within 1-3 days after fever, Monkeypox is characterized by a rash of pustules that begin on the face and spread to other regions of the body

How does it spread:

  • Direct skin-to-skin contact with rash lesions
  • Sexual/Intimate contact, including kissing
  • Living in a house and sharing a bed with someone infected
  • Sharing towels or unwashed clothing
  • Respiratory secretions through prolonged face-to-face interactions (the type that mainly happens when living with someone or caring for someone infected)

How does it NOT spread:

  • Casual brief conversations
  • Walking by someone with Monkeypox, like in a grocery store

Can Monkeypox be cured?
Monkeypox is able to resolve on its own after 2-4 weeks. For extreme cases, there is currently no proven cure or treatment regimen, though several new therapies are currently under development or are awaiting clinical trial. To help manage symptoms and prevent future outbreaks, we can use: antivirals, vaccinia immune globulin, and the Smallpox vaccine.

If you have a high risk for exposure and would like to learn more about whether the vaccine is right for you, please talk with your primary care physician.

Additional resources can be found below. We will keep you updated as more information is released.

Latest Resources on Monkey Pox:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Monkey Pox

Sacramento County Department of Health Services – Public Health – Monkey Pox

California Department of Public Health – Division of Communicable Disease Control – Monkey Pox

Executive Department: State of California – Proclamation of a State of Emergency

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