What to know about Monkeypox

August 10, 2022 // SAMC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of monkeypox that has spread across several states throughout the United States. The Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) confirmed its first case of monkeypox in the county on July 18, 2022. The Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency in the U.S. on Thursday, Aug. 4. According to the CDC, there have been over 9,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., as of Aug. 9.

What is monkeypox and how does it spread?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is in the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. It can spread to anyone through close, personal, frequent skin-to-skin contact, including:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions.

Other, less frequently encountered risk factors include:

  • Traveling outside the U.S. to a country with confirmed cases of Monkeypox or where Monkeypox activity has been ongoing.
  • 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 (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.).

What are the signs and symptoms of monkeypox?
Symptoms of Monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
  • A rash that may be located on or near the genitals but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
    • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
    • The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

What should I do if I suspect I might have monkeypox?
If you become symptomatic, DO NOT come to work. Inform your supervisor and contact your primary care physician to alert them and to see if testing is necessary. If you do not have a primary care provider, you can schedule a visit at a Saint Agnes Urgent Care location or call Employee Health for guidance.

If you test positive, isolate. You will need to remain home for the duration of the illness. This may take 2-4 weeks, according to the CDC. Please notify your manager and contact Human Resources to complete the appropriate paperwork. To return to work, you will need to provide a notice from your provider that you are no longer symptomatic.

In the event the exposure is work-related, Infection Control will work to identify. All further follow-up is performed by Employee Health or Occupational Health.

For questions or concerns, please contact the Incident Command Center. You can also send an email to SaintAgnes@samc.com and Communications will direct your message to ICC.

For CDC Monkeypox FAQS, click here.

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