Monkeypox Information

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What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare illness that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Transmission is from prolonged, close interaction with a symptomatic individual through respiratory droplets, direct contact with lesions and intimate contact.

Your risk of contracting Monkeypox increases if:

  • You traveled outside the US in the last 21 days to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox activity has been ongoing
  • You had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with confirmed or probable monkeypox
  • You had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network/group experiencing monkeypox activity
  • You had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that exists only in Africa or used a product derived from such animals (ex: game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.)

Signs and Symptoms of Monkeypox

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters and appear on the face, inside the mouth and/or on other parts of the body such as the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus

You may experience all or only a few of the symptoms of monkeypox. Sometimes people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash. Some cases in the current U.S. outbreak have experienced only isolated rashes in the genital region or other body parts (ex: hands, chest, face, mouth).

Lesions are often described as painful until the healing phase, when they become itchy (crusts). Symptoms usually start within two weeks of exposure to the virus, but can start up to three weeks later. People typically develop a rash or sores within 1-3 days of symptoms and the illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks.

What if I notice Monkeypox Symptoms?

  • Avoid close contact until you have been tested and/or cleared by a physician.
  • Contact your physician/healthcare provider to get guide you on the next steps and testing protocols.
  • Monkeypox testing is done by swabbing affected areas (rash, lesions, etc.).
  • With a physician’s order, St. James Parish Hospital can administer monkeybox tests.
  • Tests at the hospital will be sent off for analysis. Results typically take 3-5 days.
  • Tested patients will be provided education on what to do while awaiting results and after results.

Monkeypox Vaccine

Eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine is determined by the CDC and Office Of Public Health. The vaccine is typically recommended for people diagnosed with monkeypox or exposed to monkeypox and/or those at a higher risk of being exposed. Eligibility is likely to change as the outbreak evolves and based on vaccine supply.

If you were exposed to monkeypox and would like to receive vaccine, see a healthcare provider than can connect you with the Office of Public Health to determine if you are a candidate. For more information or to find vaccine locations, visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s Monkeypox Information Page. Click Here to visit the CDC’s Monkeypox Webpage.

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