Monkeypox is a contagious disease and is caused by the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are like smallpox, but milder and rarely fatal.
An individual can get the virus when they contact the sores, scabs, or body fluids of an infected person. Infections occur through close, intimate situations, such as cuddling, kissing and sexual contact and by touching contaminated materials, such as clothing, bedding and other linens used by an infected person. This illness can also be spread through respiratory secretions after prolonged face-to-face contact.
Rash; that looks like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
Swollen lymph nodes
A rash typically develops a few days after the early symptoms. However, not all individuals infected with monkeypox develop any symptoms prior to rash. some persons with monkeypox only have a few sores. It is critical that people who believe they were exposed to the virus and develop a rash get tested to limit the spread of the disease. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
A variety of health care facilities (emergency departments, urgent cares, clinics, hospitals, etc.) are testing patients with possible monkeypox symptoms. Health care providers throughout the county can also order tests through commercial laboratories. Health care providers can also consult with the Delaware County Department of Health about testing via the state’s public health laboratory for limited cases.
It is painless, easy and non-invasive. It is done by swabbing. Providers will follow the guidelines of the laboratory they are using for the test.
I was exposed, what should I do?
See a healthcare provider if you notice a new or unexplained rash or other monkeypox symptoms.
Remind the healthcare provider that monkeypox is circulating.
Avoid close contact (including intimate physical contact) with others until a healthcare provider examines you.
Avoid close contact with pets or other animals until a healthcare provider examines you.
If you’re waiting for test results, follow the same precautions.
If your test result is positive, stay isolated until your rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.
If you have a rash and believe it could be monkeypox, please see your healthcare provider. If you have questions you can call the DCHD Wellness line at (484) 276-2100 or via email at Email: DelcoWellness@co.delaware.pa.us.
Certain behaviors can greatly reduce, if not eliminate, a person’s chances of being infected with monkeypox.
The most effective ways to prevent getting the virus are:
Avoid contact with people who may be infected
Avoid skin to skin contact with someone with a rash
Practice safe sex, including the use of condoms and dental dams
Avoid contact with bedding and other materials contaminated with the virus
Do not sharing eating utensils, cups, or food with a person with monkeypox
Wash your hands with soap and water
Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for infected persons
The vaccine can prevent disease if given within four days of exposure to the virus. Additionally, if administered up to 14 days after exposure, getting the monkeypox vaccine could reduce the severity of disease. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the state through health department case investigators. Eligibility for vaccine will expand when vaccine supply is increased.
Federal, state and local public health agencies including DCHD are collaborating on plans to expand eligibility and clinic sites as more vaccine becomes available.
U.S. Monkeypox Case Counts by State
DCHD Monkeypox Factsheet for K-12 and Early Childcare Providers
CDC’s website for 2022 Monkeypox Outbreak
Pennsylvania’s Department of Health Monkeypox website
WHO Public Health Advice for Gatherings During the Current Monkeypox Outbreak
Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Health Alert Network Advisories
7/28/22, Revised Protocols Regarding the Use of Tecovirimat (TPOXX) for the Treatment of Monkeypox
7/8/22, the Addition of Commercial Labs for Monkeypox Virus Testing
6/23/22, Updated Recommendations for Monkeypox Case Identification and Testing
For more information and assistance, the Delaware County Health Department Wellness Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to responding to phone calls, the Wellness Line also responds to email inquiries.
Phone: (484) 276-2100 (Available 24/7)