What are the clinical features of monkeypox?
In humans, monkeypox is similar to smallpox, although it is often milder. Unlike smallpox, monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy). The incubation period for monkeypox is about 12 days (range 7 to 17 days). The illness begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, a general feeling of discomfort, and exhaustion. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a papular rash (i.e., raised bumps), often first on the face but sometimes initially on other parts of the body. The lesions usually develop through several stages before crusting and falling off.
How long does monkeypox last?
The illness typically lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.
Is monkeypox fatal?
Studies of human monkeypox in rural central and west Africa ? where people live in remote areas and are medically underserved ? have reported case-fatality ratios of 1% to 10%.
How do people get monkeypox?
Monkeypox can spread to humans from an infected animal through an animal bite or direct contact with the animal?s lesions or body fluids. The disease also can be spread from person to person, although it is much less infectious than smallpox. The virus is thought to be transmitted by respiratory droplets during direct and prolonged face-to-face contact. In addition, it is possible monkeypox can be spread by direct contact with body fluids of an infected person or with virus-contaminated objects, such as bedding or clothing.