Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It’s related to smallpox, but usually, monkeypox symptoms are less severe.
The CDC recommends the monkeypox vaccine for people at high risk of monkeypox infection.
Vaccination decreases your chance of contracting the disease and can also reduce symptoms if administered soon after exposure.
Rite Aid administers the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine, a two-dose regimen given 28 days apart. You must complete both doses and are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your second dose.
Mild side effects, such as pain, discomfort, fever, or rash, may occur after vaccination and should subside in a few days. These products can help alleviate symptoms.
How Does Monkeypox Spread?
Monkeypox can spread between humans from skin-to-skin contact. This can include directly touching the scabs or rash of a person infected with monkeypox or coming into contact with an infected person's body fluids, such as saliva or mucus.
Contact can occur during any close or intimate activity, including sexual intercourse, massage, hugging, kissing, or prolonged face-to-face interactions.
There is a very low risk of contracting monkeypox from contaminated surfaces, fabrics, and objects.
Individuals infected with monkeypox can spread the virus from when they first exhibit symptoms until the rash scabs over and a new layer of healthy skin forms.
Pregnant people infected with monkeypox can transmit the virus to the fetus in utero or during or after birth.
Monkeypox can also spread from animal to human contact via feces, urine, saliva, respiratory secretions, sores, scabs, and rashes. Animal-to-human and human-to-animal transmission may
occur if you are in close contact with animals, including petting, hugging, and sharing sleeping and living areas or food.
What are the Symptoms of Monkeypox?
The primary symptom of monkeypox is a rash on the genitals, including the vagina, labia, testicles, and penis, or around the anus. You may also experience a rash on your hands, feet, face, mouth, and chest.
The rash progresses through several stages. First, it may appear like a pimple or blister and feel itchy and painful. Then, it will scab over and heal.
Other symptoms of monkeypox include fever, chills, muscular aches and pains, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and respiratory symptoms. You may also experience flu-like symptoms at the onset of the rash.
Monkeypox symptoms typically occur within three weeks of viral exposure, and if you have flu symptoms, you’ll develop a rash approximately one to four days later. You may experience all or just a few symptoms in addition to the rash.
What are the Complications of Monkeypox?
In most cases, monkeypox resolves naturally within several weeks. However, monkeypox can have severe or fatal health complications in some vulnerable populations, such as children, newborns, and immunocompromised individuals.
Complications due to monkeypox include pneumonia, secondary skin infections, eye issues like conjunctivitis and corneal lesions, neuralgia and mood disturbances, and encephalitis. More recent complications have also been discovered, including proctitis (swollen lesions inside the anus that cause pain) and painful urination.
Previous strains of monkeypox have had between a 1% and 10% mortality rate. The current West African strain causing the 2022 global outbreak has had no fatalities.
How is Monkeypox Prevented?
The best way to prevent monkeypox infection is to get a vaccination at your local Rite Aid store. We carry the JYNNEOS vaccine, which is effective against smallpox and monkeypox.
There are other ways you can reduce the risk of contracting the virus, including:
There is currently no antiviral treatment for monkeypox.