Disease database

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that belongs to the same family as smallpox and chickenpox. Although it is not as well-known as these other diseases, it can cause significant health issues in those who contract it. Monkeypox is primarily found in Central and West African countries, with sporadic outbreaks occurring from time to time. In this article, we will explore the symptoms, transmission, and treatment options for monkeypox.

Fever: A Common Sign of Monkeypox

One of the initial symptoms of monkeypox is fever. The infected individual may experience a sudden rise in body temperature, often accompanied by chills and exhaustion. This fever can last for several days and may be accompanied by other flu-like symptoms.

Headache, Muscle Aches, and Backache

Headaches, muscle aches, and backaches are common symptoms of monkeypox. These discomforts can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual. The pain experienced during monkeypox can be similar to that of a severe case of the flu, making it important to seek medical attention if these symptoms persist.

Swollen Lymph Nodes: A Telltale Sign

One of the distinguishing features of monkeypox is the presence of swollen lymph nodes. These small, bean-shaped glands are an essential part of the immune system and can become enlarged when the body is fighting an infection. In monkeypox, the lymph nodes in the affected area may become tender and swollen, indicating the presence of the virus.

Rash and Blisters: Visible Signs of Monkeypox

A rash is a common symptom of monkeypox and typically appears after the initial fever. The rash starts as small, raised bumps on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. Over time, these bumps develop into fluid-filled blisters, which can be painful and itchy. It is crucial to avoid scratching the blisters, as this can lead to secondary infections.

Transmission: How Monkeypox Spreads

Monkeypox is primarily transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals. The virus can be found in the blood, bodily fluids, or skin lesions of infected animals, such as rodents or monkeys. Human-to-human transmission is also possible, primarily through respiratory droplets or direct contact with the rash or bodily fluids of an infected individual.

Prevention: Reducing the Risk of Monkeypox

Preventing monkeypox involves taking several precautions to reduce the risk of exposure. Here are some essential tips:

  • Avoid contact with wild animals, especially rodents and monkeys.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially after handling animals or their products.
  • Use personal protective equipment, such as gloves and masks, when caring for infected individuals.
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene, such as covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Ensure that meat is cooked thoroughly before consumption, as the virus can be present in animal products.

Treatment: Managing Monkeypox

Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment for monkeypox. However, supportive care can help manage the symptoms and promote recovery. Here are some tips for managing monkeypox:

  • Rest and stay hydrated to combat fatigue and fever.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers to alleviate muscle aches and headaches.
  • Apply calamine lotion or antihistamines to relieve itching caused by the rash and blisters.
  • Keep the affected area clean and dry to prevent secondary infections.
  • Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or persist.


Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, rash, and blisters. While there is no specific cure for monkeypox, supportive care can help manage the symptoms and promote recovery. It is crucial to take preventive measures to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. By following good hygiene practices and avoiding contact with infected animals, individuals can protect themselves and others from this potentially serious disease.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
Add a comment