On July 23, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) declared monkeypox a global health emergency. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are over 2,500 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States in over 40 states.
Kaiser Permanente is following CDC guidance around monkeypox, and our care teams are watching for patients who present with fever and rash illnesses, swollen lymph nodes and other symptoms consistent with monkeypox. It is important to keep in mind that monkeypox is not considered contagious before symptoms develop.
Kaiser Permanente will continue to monitor federal and state guidance on this condition and any spread in our communities.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It is important to keep in mind that monkeypox is still relatively rare in the United States and is not considered contagious before symptoms develop. In general, for transmission of monkeypox virus, it requires close prolonged contact, so for the general public, transmission is considered low risk at this time.
Symptoms of monkeypox include:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of a fever, a rash will appear, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body
The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.
Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, can spread monkeypox through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or shared items (such as clothing and bedding) that have been contaminated with fluids or sores of a person with monkeypox. Monkeypox virus can also spread between people through respiratory droplets typically in a close setting, such as the same household or a healthcare setting. Common household disinfectants can kill the monkeypox virus.
What should I do if I suspect I have or have been exposed to monkeypox?
Anyone who may have symptoms of or been exposed to monkeypox, should call our 24/7 advice line at 1-800-777-7904 (TTY 711) and inform them. We will provide you with instructions to ensure you are seen safely.