Updated: Jul 26, 2022
Cases continue to increase across the globe.
Eat This, Not That | July 7, 2022 Fact Checked by Aaron Goldfarb
As monkeypox cases increase across the globe, many people are concerned about how they can avoid this serious disease. Since monkeypox has been studied for over 50 years, much more information about the entity is known than when COVID-19 started to become a global pandemic in early 2020.
1 Be Aware of the Demographics Monkeypox has been endemic to western and Central Africa for years. In this latest global threat, travelers from Nigeria who have emigrated to western countries including the UK and the EU have been the individuals who have been most likely to harbor and spread the disease.
2 Understand the Way Monkeypox Spreads The spread of monkeypox is most thought to involve prolonged intimate partner contact. The method of spread is therefore prolonged kissing or any genital or anal contact with an infected individual. Most of the recent cases have been from homosexual interactions, but bisexual and transgender relationships have also been noted. Additionally, sleeping in the dirty bedsheets of an infected individual may also lead to infections.
3 Know the Symptoms in Yourself or Your Contacts Minimizing the spread of monkeypox needs to be proactive. If you think you or a close contact may be at risk, self-examination or examination by a qualified health professional is urgently required. The early signs of infection include fevers, chills, lymph node enlargement, and characteristic blistered lesions with are generally pustular in nature in the groin, hands, face, or extremities.
4 Watch Out for Certain Household Pets Monkeypox has been found to spread from animal contact as well as human contact. In fact, in a famous monkeypox outbreak in the midwestern United States in 2003 that originated from pet prairie dogs that were infected from rodents shipped from Ghana. Knowing that a variety of rodents may carry the infection may prevent subsequent infections.
5 Get Vaccinated if You are at Risk or Exposed If you are suspicious, you may have had an exposure to monkeypox or even if you feel you are starting to have symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. According to the CDC, early vaccination within 4 days of infection can prevent monkeypox infection and vaccination from 4-14 after exposure can mitigate symptoms but not necessarily prevent an infection.
Dr. Soumi Eachempati is a former Professor of Surgery and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College where he worked from 1998-2017. Among his many accolades, Dr. Eachempati was also the Director of both the Surgical ICU as well as Trauma at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Center. He also received an appointment in the Division of Public Health. Dr. Eachempati is a Co-Founder and CEO of CLEARED4.