NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Health is reporting a probable case of monkeypox in the state. This would make it the first reported case of it in New Mexico.
The patient completed initial tests on Friday after returning from out-of-state travel and most likely was exposed through contact, according to a release from NMDOH. They say the patient is isolated at home and “doing well. “
NMDOH says monkeypox symptoms usually begin with flu-like symptoms like a headache, fever, muscle aches, chills, and exhaustion. The infection then can progress leading to sores and rashes hands, chest, feet, and face. Officials say anyone infected should isolate at home and most infections last 2-4 weeks.
What are the symptoms?
According to the CDC, symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that can look 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.
- The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
How does Monkeypox spread?
- Direct contact with monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs from a person with monkeypox.
- Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
- Contact with respiratory secretions, through kissing and other face-to-face contacts.
- 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 is positive, stay isolated until your rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.
What is monkeypox?
According to the CDC’s website monkeypox is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. . Despite being named “monkeypox,” the source of the disease is unknown. But, African rodents and non-human primates can harbor the virus and infect people.
What treatments are available for monkeypox?
According to the CDC’s website, there are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to treat and prevent monkeypox virus infections.
Do you need to get vaccinated?
According to the CDC, they do not recommend vaccination against monkeypox.
Vaccination is recommended for the following people:
- Are close personal contacts of people with monkeypox
- May have been exposed to the virus.
- May have increased risk of being exposed to the virus, such as people who perform laboratory testing to diagnose monkeypox.
Anyone showing symptoms of monkeypox should isolate themselves and contact their healthcare provider to be tested. Anyone without health insurance or a provider can visit https://www.nmhealth.org/location/public/.