Monkeypox has arrived in Nashville and Hendersonville, TN. Here’s what you need to know about Monkeypox Testing in Nashville.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. The monkeypox virus is part of the same family that can cause smallpox, the variola virus. MPX (monkeypox) symptoms can be like smallpox symptoms but are often milder. Most MPX cases usually do not cause serious illness, but it can sometimes require hospitalization, and although it rarely happens it also can be fatal.
The first recorded human case of Monkeypox was in 1970 in Africa. Most outbreaks of MPX were solely reported in Western and Central African countries until 2022 of course. Any cases found outside of Africa were because of international travel where the disease occurs or because of imported animals.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
The main symptom to look for with MPX is a rash that will form around the genitals, and anus. Occasionally, the rash can be on other areas of the body like hands, feet, chest, and mouth. The rash will look like pimples or blisters and it can be painful or itchy. The rash will have to scab over before being fully healed. Other symptoms of MPX include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches
- Respiratory symptoms
Some people may experience all the symptoms and others will not have any at all. Symptoms for MPX may start anywhere from 5 – 21 days after your exposure. Symptoms will last anywhere from 2 – 4 weeks.
How does Monkeypox spread?
Someone with MPX is infectious from their very symptom all the way until their rash finally scabs over and heals. So, for the entirety of the 2 – 4-week period, someone can be infectious. The virus is spread by having close contact with an infected person for extended periods of time. Some examples include having direct contact with MPX sores or rash, respiratory droplets or oral fluids from an infected person, or the virus can also be spread through objects like bedsheets or clothing. Another concern with MPX is that an infected pregnant person can spread the virus to a fetus. Since the virus is highly contagious and has such a long infection period, therefore we must work hard to prevent the spread of the disease.
Prevention/Vaccines for MPX
A few ways to help prevent the spread of Monkeypox virus include:
- If you know someone who is infected with MPX try to avoid close contact with them.
- If you cannot avoid them, wash your hands frequently after any skin-to-skin contact with them, or handing any of their clothing/bedding.
- Encourage the infected to isolate themselves until all of their scabs from the rash are fully healed.
- Avoid any animals that may potentially have the virus.
- Consider getting a smallpox vaccine, ACAM200 or Jynneos, to help prevent the spread of MPX.
There is currently no treatment for Monkeypox virus available yet. , we can strive to treat the symptoms of the virus though. Staying hydrated and taking over-the-counter medications for pain management is the best course of action to treat MPX.
If you are worried that you have been exposed to MPX or are noticing a new rash like the description of an MPX rash, call your healthcare provider right away. If you need testing for Monkeypox virus all three of our Nashville-area urgent care clinics are equipped to diagnose and help treat the symptoms of MPX today.
6749 Charlottle Pike, Nashville, TN 37209
9am – 7 pm, 7 days a week
301 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37201
8am – 4pm, Monday – Friday
166 E Main Street, Hendersonville, TN 37075
9am – 7pm, 7 days a week
For more information and educational photos on Monkeypox virus please visit the CDC website here or the Mayo Clinic website here.