Monkeypox: How To Protect Yourself Amid Viral Outbreak

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Ever since medical experts sounded alarm over the monkeypox outbreak, many have been fearing for another possible pandemic in spite of the COVID-19 global health crisis still going on. To help address the trepidation, public health agencies have decided to release some guidelines on how to stay safe and protected from the monkeypox virus. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) issued their recommendations for the public this week to shed light on what everyone can do to lower the chances of catching the spreading virus, as per CNBC.  

The first recommendation is to avoid contact with people recently diagnosed with monkeypox and those who might have been infected or exposed to the virus. 

Should it be unavoidable for one to be in close contact with someone who has monkeypox symptoms, it is crucial to protect oneself by wearing a face mask. 

In light of the recent warning of the CDC about members of the LGBTQ community being at a higher risk for monkeypox, the three agencies recommended the use of condoms and keeping an eye out for symptoms in sexual partners. 

Technically speaking, monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease. But since the virus can be passed through body fluids and sores, sexual intercourse, intimate contact and shared beddings can help spread the disease from one person to another. 

Another recommendation from the agencies is to practice good hand hygiene after coming into contact with possibly infected humans and animals, such as monkeys, rodents and prairie dogs. Washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizes can help prevent infection. 

The use of personal protective equipment is a must when caring for people diagnosed with the disease or suspected of having monkeypox. The NHS also singled out only eating meat that has been cooked thoroughly in its guidance. 

As of late, the WHO is monitoring hundreds of confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox in more than 12 countries in Europe and North America. The U.S. has one confirmed case in Massachusetts and four other suspected cases in New York, Florida and Utah. 

The specialized agency said Monday that despite the outbreak, there seems to be no need for mass monkeypox vaccinations because the spread of the disease is easy to contain with good hygiene, safe sexual practices and other cautionary measures. 

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