Monkeypox outbreak happened unexpectedly. The most crucial thing you can do is understand your risk level because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency as the number of cases keeps rising. The majority of people still have a low risk of getting monkeypox.
In this outbreak stage, however, you are more likely to contract monkeypox if you live in a city or neighborhood where it spreads.
Males who have sex with other men, which includes persons who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, and nonbinary, are where the monkeypox pandemic initially began to spread. The group is still at the greatest risk. The majority of instances have so far been documented in big cities.
How the monkeypox spreads?
Skin-to-skin contact is how the virus is transmitted. Dr. Linda Yancey, an infectious disease expert at the Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, tells PEOPLE that even though that may seem similar to COVID-19, “There is no respiratory virus in this. It does not spread predominantly through the air like COVID.”
“The monkeypox is spread through skin-to-skin contact. Any type of skin-to-skin contact falls under this category. Although I am aware that many cases here have been brought on by sex, this is not a sexually transmitted disease, “She clarifies. “In general, sex requires a lot of skin-to-skin contacts, but so does dancing, kissing, shaking hands, or engaging in sports like football or wrestling. Therefore, there are numerous methods that HIV might be transferred. Any skin-to-skin contact carries a significant danger.”
Despite this, Yancey continues, “it can be disseminated by huge respiratory droplets.” “Therefore, if you spend a lot of time face to face with someone, you could perhaps spread it to them. However, skin-to-skin contact has been the main cause of this outbreak.”
Prevent skin-to-skin contact with people that may be contaminated with the monkeypox virus
Direct, close contact that is skin to skin “is thought to be the primary method of transmission, which may take place in several ways. It might happen simply from daily proximity to a case of monkeypox, or it can happen through intimate contact or sexual interaction “Professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University, Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr.
It’s crucial to “be honest and upfront with your intimate relationships” about dangers and potential prior exposures because monkeypox can spread during sexual contact, according to Richard Silvera, professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Until the rash has been cured, according to the CDC, monkeypox is communicable. The normal period of the illness is two to four weeks.
“A rash can appear anywhere on your body, and it can seem like many different things. It can resemble a pimple or a small bump that resembles folliculitis, which occurs when the hair follicle becomes infected. It can either be painless or painful, “Dr. Robert Pitts, a specialist in infectious diseases at NYU Langone Health, said.
Avoid sharing towels, clothing, and bed linens
According to Dr. Anne Rimoin, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, the virus can spread through contaminated items like “clothes, bed sheets, towels, and other porous materials.”
Even while it is not as frequent as skin-to-skin contact, it is something to be aware of when sharing things with others.
According to Rimoin, “This virus might remain on those surfaces for a while before spreading to another individual.”
The CDC also advises against using cups or utensils used by someone who has monkeypox.
Wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
According to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent for ABC News, “Hand cleanliness is the most critical thing, not just for monkeypox but for any infectious disease.”
Hand cleanliness is essential for maintaining good health since hands serve as the entry point for pathogens into our eyes, nose, and mouth. The same methods that have been effective for the past two years still work.
Wearing a mask and cleaning your hands will help prevent monkeypox, according to Silvera.
Being fully clothed may be safer, especially when encountering large crowds
Wear clothing that covers your body to lessen the possibility of coming into contact with someone who might be infected with the virus through skin-to-skin contact.
Compared to similar activities with little clothes and intimate contact, the CDC states that “festivals, events, and concerts where guests are completely clothed and unlikely to share skin-to-skin contact are safer.”
“Transmission is not likely to occur at these activities,” but naturally, if you feel like you fall into a high-risk category, you might want to be a little more cautious. Dr. John Brownstein, chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital and a contributor to ABC News.
Wipe down surfaces that may be contaminated
According to the CDC, the orthopoxvirus that causes monkeypox is susceptible to various disinfectants. They advise cleaning up any surfaces and objects a person with monkeypox may have touched.
However, Brownstein adds, “People won’t have to go back to those old COVID days where there was a lot of uncertainty and wiping down of groceries and sterilizing household goods where there is virtually no probability of any risk.”
Disinfection may offer extra protection for persons who are specifically in high transmission areas or who come into contact with surfaces or items that have been contaminated with monkeypox.
Utilizing an EPA-registered disinfectant is advised by the CDC.
Be on the lookout for new information about monkeypox as it comes
Silvera remarked, “We’ll all have to kind of pitch it together and kind of figure this out as we go.
“I researched [monkeypox] as an infectious disease doctor, but I didn’t start seeing and interacting with monkeypox patients until May. Consequently, I’ve had to learn this quickly, “said Pitts.
Monkeypox cases had been scarce up until this point. The advice from experts will change due to the ongoing discovery of new information about the virus. However, experts stress the significance of maintaining composed.
“This is completely different from the Coronavirus in so many aspects,” said El-Sadr. “Thus, I think people should be alert, concerned, but at the same time, should not really panic.”
And the most effective way to avoid monkeypox is to improve your immune system.
There are many different approaches to improving the immune system. Although increasing your immunity seems appealing, doing so has proven difficult for several reasons. In fact, the immune system is a system, not a single thing. It needs harmony and balance to work successfully. Researchers still don’t fully understand the complexity and interdependence of the immune response. As of yet, no direct connections between a healthy lifestyle and improved immune function have been established by science.
But that doesn’t mean that research on how lifestyle choices affect the immune system isn’t important or interesting. Researchers are looking at how age, psychological stress, physical activity, food, and other factors affect the immune response in both humans and animals. Meanwhile, general healthy lifestyle practices make sense because they are known to improve other aspects of health and are likely to support immune function.
At the Philadelphia Holistic Clinic, we use homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, and reiki to boost the immune system. Holistic approaches are affordable, safe, and effective. For an appointment with doctor Victor Tsan, contact our clinic at (267) 403-3085.