Monkeypox Treatment

  • Treatment

    Rarely, monkeypox can cause encephalitis. Encephalitis can be a serious illness. Immediate medical attention is required for any symptoms of encephalitis Table 03.

    Encephalitis occurs when an infection causes an inflammation of the brain Table 03. Encephalitis is a rare complication of monkeypox, and it can be caused by many other things besides the monkeypox virus. Encephalitis may require hospitalization, intravenous (IV) fluids, help with breathing (ventilator), and supportive care to prevent secondary infections.

    Table 3.  Symptoms of Encephalitis

    High fever
    Change in behavior, personality, or consciousness (alertness). This may include confusion, disorientation, and even memory loss or hallucinations.
    Intense headache
    Muscle weakness
    Fatigue/lethargy
    Photophobia (eyes sensitive to light)
    Tremors
    Seizures
    Coma, which may lead to death
    Stiff neck, if the encephalitis is accompanied by meningitis (inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord)

    Most people with monkeypox can recover at home.

    Although medical treatment is necessary for patients with monkeypox, most people can recover from their illness at home.

    If you have monkeypox, you need to take measures to prevent spreading your monkeypox to others [Table 2].

    If you or your clinician suspect that you are ill due to the monkeypox virus, it is important that you stay home so that you don't make other people sick [Table 2]. Monkeypox can be dangerous, especially for pregnant women and children under the age of 1.

    If you work around animals, work in the healthcare setting, or are caring for someone with monkeypox, ask your clinician if you should receive a smallpox vaccination.

    The smallpox vaccine may benefit those exposed to monkeypox, if it is given within 4 days of exposure to the monkeypox virus. Some clinicians give the vaccination up to 14 days after exposure to the monkeypox virus. Individuals at high risk for exposure to the virus should consider receiving the smallpox vaccine, in case they are unknowingly exposed to monkeypox.

    Your doctor is the best source of information on the drug treatment choices available to you.

    Most people recover fully from monkeypox.

    Although medical treatment is necessary for patients with monkeypox, most people can recover from their illness at home.

    Rarely, monkeypox has caused serious complications (such as encephalitis) and even death.

    In Africa, where monkeypox is more common, 1% to 10% of cases in humans have been fatal. Investigators cite the lack of modern and readily available healthcare in some areas of Africa as a major contributing factor to the fatality rate there. Encephalitis caused by monkeypox has occurred in the U.S.; however, as of July 25, 2003, there were no fatalities in the U.S. from monkeypox.

    If your symptoms worsen, call your clinician.

    As with any illness, it is important that you let your clinician know if you are not getting better or if you start feeling worse. Evidence that you are not getting better includes a fever that stays high, shortness of breath, severe headaches, or an unusual change in your alertness or personality. Contact your clinician immediately if you experience any of these signs.

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