After two years of COVID-19 madness, the world faces yet another viral disease - monkeypox.
You may ask yourself, “What is monkeypox, and how can I avoid it?” Thankfully, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the answer. The CDC defines monkeypox as being in the same family and symptoms as smallpox but not as fatal.
The monkeypox outbreak made its way to the U.S. in May, with the first case documented in Boston, Massachusetts. The CDC now shows the U.S. has over 18,000 cases of monkeypox alongside almost 50,000 worldwide cases. Luckily, there have been no reported fatalities thus far.
This disease consists of a rash with bumps that can appear on any part of the body, followed by fever, chills, exhaustion and other flu-like symptoms. The illness can start within three weeks of exposure and lasts an estimated two to four weeks, depending on its severity.
After hearing about this disease, I immediately started researching what I could do to avoid exposure since I live in a crowded college town. The CDC scientists found that the disease spreads through contact. Not only can people get it, but animals can as well. Even pregnant women can spread the disease to a fetus. The CDC suggests slight reinforcement of social distancing practices and continued proper handwashing techniques.
At first, I thought this disease wasn’t that severe until I saw Angelo State University send out an email to be aware of this outbreak. It may not be big now, but I’m not willing to take risks as I did with COVID-19. So the next time you’re thinking about going out or even just walking to class, make sure to wash your hands and carry that hand sanitizer because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
For information about monkeypox symptoms, treatment options, and statistics, visit the official CDC website.
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