More cases of Monkey Pox have been discovered in the UK.
The incubation period is the duration/time between contact with the infected person and the time that the first symptoms appear. The incubation period for monkeypox is between 5 and 21 days.
Monkeypox infection is usually a self-limiting illness and most people recover within several weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some individuals.
The illness begins with:
- muscle aches
- swollen lymph nodes
Within 1 to 5 days after the appearance of fever, a rash develops, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab which later falls off.
An individual is contagious until all the scabs have fallen off and there is intact skin underneath. The scabs may also contain infectious virus material.
Clinical diagnosis of monkeypox can be difficult, and it is often confused with other infections such as chickenpox. A definite diagnosis of monkeypox requires assessment by a health professional and specific testing in a specialist laboratory.
In the UK, the Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory (RIPL) at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Porton Down is the designated diagnostic laboratory.
Suspected cases should be discussed with the Imported Fever Service prior to submitting samples for laboratory testing.
Treatment for monkeypox is mainly supportive. The illness is usually mild and most of those infected will recover within a few weeks without treatment.
Smallpox vaccine, cidofovir, and tecovirimat can be used to control outbreaks of monkeypox.
Vaccination against smallpox can be used for both pre and post exposure and is up to 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. People vaccinated against smallpox in childhood may experience a milder disease.