The number of confirmed monkeypox infections across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia is continuing to rise. Cases in the DMV are now nearing 200 as of July 16, 2022 with 108 cases in D.C., 37 cases in Maryland, and 44 cases in Virginia, reported by officials.
Monkeypox outbreaks are increasing throughout the United States and multiple countries around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 12,556 cases of monkeypox in 68 countries. Of those, 1,469 cases were reported in the U.S. and 3 deaths have been reported globally but none so far in the U.S.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox but is not related to chickenpox.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.
Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox. Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox. Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched.
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