Monkeypox Signs and Symptoms

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.

The virus was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. The first case of monkeypox in a person was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and since then has been reported primarily in other western and central African countries.

Diagnosis of monkeypox can be difficult, and it is often confused with other infections such as chickenpox. If you have reason to suspect you have monkeypox, and would like a video or telephone consultation with one of our Doctors, please get in touch here.

Further information can be found on the UK Health Security PDF attached here.

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Can I catch monkeypox?

The virus can be transmitted if a person comes into close contact with an infected person, animal or object.

Person-to-person spread is not common, but may happen through:

  • coughing or sneezing of an individual with monkeypox
  • contact with clothing and shared linen (such as bedding or towels)
  • direct contact with monkeypox rash and/or scabs

What are Monkeypox Symptoms?

Monkeypox often begins with:

  • headache
  • fever
  • back and muscle aches
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • chills
  • exhaustion

The isolation period for monkeypox ranges between 5-21 days. Within 1 to 5 days after the appearance of fever, a rash develops, commonly starting on the face but then can spread to other parts of the body.

Most people recover within several weeks but severe cases can occur in some individuals in which case further medical attention may be required.

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