How Long Should You Isolate if you get Monkepox?

Photo: SIPSE

Monkeypox continues to spread across the country, jumping up by several hundred cases a day, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nine children have also been diagnosed with the virus.

Health officials urge people who suspect they may have monkeypox to get tested and isolate if they test positive. And, while you’re probably familiar on some level with quarantine and isolation due to COVID-19, things are a little different for monkeypox.

So, what are monkeypox quarantine and isolation guidelines? Here’s what you need to know.

When to quarantine with monkeypox

Just a quick recap on infectious disease lingo, per the CDC: Quarantine is what someone does when they’ve had a known exposure to an illness; Isolation is what you do when you have a confirmed infection.

The CDC does not have official quarantine recommendations on what to do if you’ve been exposed to someone with monkeypox or if you suspect you have the virus. “Be very careful to avoid skin-to-skin contact with other people during this time,” says William Schaffner, M.D., infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “This is a virus that is transmitted most readily in that circumstance.”

If you’ve had close contact with someone with monkeypox but haven’t developed symptoms, you can also try to get the monkeypox vaccine to try to prevent yourself from getting sick, says Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York.

When to isolate with monkeypox

If you have a confirmed case of monkeypox, the CDC recommends that you isolate at home or another location to avoid spreading the virus to other people.

If you have a fever or any respiratory symptoms, including a sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough, the CDC says you stay isolated at home and away from other people and animals unless you need to see a doctor or have an emergency. If you need to leave your home, the CDC suggests that you cover the lesions, wear a well-fitting mask, and avoid public transportation.

The Yucatan Times
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