The Facts About Monkeypox
We’re not even done with COVID yet and everyone’s worrying about monkeypox becoming a pandemic. But it’s unlikely to be nearly as widespread or deadly. Here are some basics you should know:
Yes, it causes a rash like chickenpox, but it generally starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen glands, muscle aches and headaches.
It is not a sexually transmitted disease, but it is transmitted by sustained skin-to-skin contact. You won’t get it from a quick handshake or even sitting on a public toilet.
Don’t blame the gay community -- it just happened to take hold among gay men first, but anyone can get it with skin-to-skin contact.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to be careful about who you have sex with. If you’re not in a high-risk group, you really don’t need to worry at this point.
There is a vaccine, but supplies are limited, and unless you’re at high risk, you really don’t need it.
There is an antiviral that can reduce symptoms. It’s called TPOXX.
No, you can’t get monkeypox from monkeys. It was first identified in monkeys, and the WHO is trying to change the name to avoid confusion.
The virus is evolving, but much more slowly than COVID does. That’s because its genes come in the form of DNA, not RNA like SARS-CoV-2.