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    Monkeypox education recommended as U.S. cases continue to rise

    Monkeypox: Symptoms, Transmission, Vaccine

    Photo By Alpha Kamara | The monkeypox virus (above) can cause symptoms that include a high temperature, aches,...... read more read more



    Story by Alpha Kamara 

    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

    By Alpha Kamara Office of Command Communications

    Although monkeypox is a rare disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages continued vigilance as the number of reported cases in the United States reached approximately 20,000 as of Sept. 6. More than 1,700 of those cases were in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia and Washington), the CDC reports.

    Symptoms and modes of transmission

    In humans, the symptoms of monkeypox may include pox lesions (rash), fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, sore throat, and cough, according to the Military Health System.

    Monkeypox may cause lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) and the time from infection to experiencing symptoms (incubation period) is usually within three weeks of exposure to the virus, the CDC explained. The most common symptom of monkeypox is a rash, usually located near the genitals, hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. Often resembling pimples or blisters, the rash may be painful or itchy, and go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.

    CDC officials add that engaging in close intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox is the most common way of spreading the virus. Anyone exposed to the sores or bodily fluids of an infectious person is at risk.

    “Monkeypox can spread from person-to-person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. It also can spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex. It is also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either from bites by the animal or coming into contact with the blood, body fluids or lesions (rash) of an infected animal, or by eating meat or using products from an infected animal,” MHS officials’ state.

    The Defense Health Agency is closely monitoring the human-to-human transmission of the monkeypox virus.


    According to CDC, treatments specifically for monkeypox do not exist. “However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox,” the CDC explains.

    “Most patients with monkeypox infection have mild disease and do not require medical intervention. Supportive care is the primary means of treatment, which may include hydration, keeping skin lesions clean and dry, applying topical agents, and treating secondary bacterial infection,” the CDC added.


    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center currently has a limited supply of a smallpox vaccine approved by the FDA for the prevention of smallpox and monkeypox, according to Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Sara Robinson, chair of the Infection Prevention and Control Committee.

    “WRNMMC has recently received a shipment of smallpox vaccine with enough supply to allow us to offer the product to patients [18 years of age and older] at high-risk for severe disease or who have increased risk for exposure to monkeypox.” Robinson added.

    “If you think you may be at increased risk for exposure, please reach out to your primary care provider to determine both your eligibility and vaccine availability,” Robinson added. WRNMMC will continue to follow CDC guidance regarding vaccination prioritization based on available supply.

    For more on monkeypox facts and case status, visit the CDC website:



    Date Taken: 09.07.2022
    Date Posted: 09.07.2022 12:58
    Story ID: 428726

    Web Views: 202
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