The number of confirmed monkeypox infections across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia continues rise as cases in the region are now nearing 200.
As of July 16, officials have reported 108 cases in D.C., 37 cases in Maryland, and 44 cases in Virginia, bringing the total cases recorded across the region to 189.
The outbreaks in the DMV comes as multiple countries, including the United States, are currently experiencing outbreaks of monkeypox.
As of July 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 12,556 cases of monkeypox in 68 countries. Of those, 1,469 cases were reported in the U.S.
Three deaths have been reported globally but none so far in the U.S.
Monkeypox Signs, Symptoms and Prevention from the CDC:
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
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.
Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to-person through:
- direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
- respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
- touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
- pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.
Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox. Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox. Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched.
If you are sick with monkeypox:
- Isolate at home
- If you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.
CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox, including:
- People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox
- People who may have been exposed to monkeypox, such as: People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox People who had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox
- People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox
- People who had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox
- People whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses, such as: Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses Some designated healthcare or public health workers
- Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses
- Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses
- Some designated healthcare or public health workers