14:49 PM

What You Need To Know About Monkeypox


The last thing any of us wants to hear about right now is news of another pandemic. But with recent news that the United States leads the world in monkepox cases (more than 20,000), here's the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The spread of Monkeypox

Last week the CDC publishedreport that there are signs that the outbreak is slowing in the U.S.  However, the CDC added, “causes of cases slowing in [the] U.S. and other countries are not well understood and patterns have not been uniform, we cannot predict the timing and precise trajectory of case declines in the United States.”

In a report from the World Health Organization, reported cases of infections worldwide decreased by 25% last week over the prior week. 

Monitoring Exposed Health Care Professionals Who Have Been Exposed

The CDC states that any health care worker “who has cared for a monkeypox patient should be alert to the development of symptoms that could suggest monkeypox infection, especially within the 21 day period after the last date of care, and should notify infection control, occupational health, and the health department to be guided about a medical evaluation. You will be provided your 21 day monitoring sheet.”

Health care workers who have unprotected exposures (i.e., not wearing PPE) to patients with monkeypox do not need to be excluded from work duty, but should undergo active surveillance for symptoms, which includes measurement of temperature at least twice daily for 21 days following the exposure. Prior to reporting for work each day, the healthcare worker should self-evaluate regarding evidence of fever or rash.

Healthcare workers who have cared for or otherwise been in direct or indirect contact with monkeypox patients while adhering to recommended infection control precautions may undergo self-monitoring or active monitoring as determined by the health department.

Symptoms* of concern include:

  • Fever ≥100.4°F (38°C)
  • Chills
  • New lymphadenopathy (periauricular, axillary, cervical, or inguinal)
  • New skin rash

*Fever and rash occur in nearly all people infected with monkeypox virus.

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