What to Know About Monkeypox As Virus Continues to Spread Across US

There are more than 6,300 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the U.S. As states and cities declare states of emergency amid the continued outbreak, here's what to know about the virus and the precautions to take when living with those who have contracted it.

The monkeypox outbreak is continuing to spread across the country, with more than 6,300 confirmed cases—including five children—in the U.S. as of Wednesday.  

New York, California, Illinois and some cities have declared states of emergency and the World Health Organization has declared the spreading of the viral disease a global emergency. 

Experts say that those living with individuals who have monkeypox should take precautions to avoid further spread, including having those infected with the disease remain out of the kitchen and in isolation in one space, such as a bedroom.  

Ideally, have those individuals use plasticware or paperware so the items they eat off can be thrown away, but if they are using items that need to be kept, wear a mask and gloves to collect them and wash them right away, experts say. 

Shared items such as towels, clothes and bed sheets could also possibly spread the virus if used by someone with a monkeypox lesion. It is mostly spread through close physical contact.  

Almost everyone who gets monkeypox gets a rash. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion, experts said. The virus can last two to four weeks. 

The virus can cause significant pain. “I can’t even describe it. It feels like broken glass,” Gabriel Morales told The New York Times. Monkeypox, however, is far less contagious and much less likely to be deadly than COVID-19, though young children, those who are immunocompromised and pregnant may be at higher risk of death if they contract the disease.

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