Monkeypox is a reportable disease in Oklahoma as an unusual condition. Monkeypox is a rare illness that causes rash, chills, and fever. It is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox. In the United States, the first outbreak of the virus occurred in June 2003 among dozens of people who became infected by contact with pet prairie dogs that had contact with imported African rodents.
Monkeypox virus usually occurs in central and western Africa in animals such as monkeys, squirrels, and rats. Monkeypox may spread to people when they are bitten by or touch the blood, other body fluids, or rash of an animal infected with monkeypox. Sometimes, monkeypox is spread from one person to another through very close contact or by touching body fluids of a person with monkeypox. Objects, such as bedding or clothing, contaminated with the virus may also spread monkeypox.
Symptoms of monkeypox in animals may include fever, cough, eye discharge, swollen lymph nodes (seen as swelling in the limbs), and a bumpy or blistery rash. Infected pets may also appear very tired and may not eat or drink.
Symptoms in humans develop about 12 days after infection and include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, and swollen lymph nodes. A rash that turns into fluid-filled bumps develops about three days after the fever. The bumps later form a crust and fall off. The illness can last up to a month.
Monkeypox Fact Sheets and Information:
Monkeypox Fact Sheet (38k.pdf)
External Monkeypox Resources:
Monkeypox (Medline Plus)