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Concern is mounting over the global outbreak of monkeypox, which has now spread to 12 countries.

Germany and Belgium are among the latest to confirm they have detected cases of the smallpox-like disease – with The UK Health Security Agency having confirmed cases in the UK have more than doubled to 20.

The illness had rarely been seen outside Africa prior to the outbreak – but what is monkeypox, and what are the key symptoms that you need to look out for?

Here is everything you need to know.

What is monkeypox?

A rare infection, how many days should you take prilosec monkeypox is described as zoonotic – meaning it is normally seen in animals.

However, the disease can spread to humans from an infected animal if you’re bitten or you touch its blood, body fluids, spots, blisters, or scabs.

The infection is a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox, although it is much less severe.

It’s not common for monkeypox to spread from person to person. But, according to the NHS, it can be spread through:

  • Touching clothing, bedding, or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash
  • Touching monkeypox skin blisters or scabs
  • Coughs or sneezes.

What are monkeypox symptoms?

According to the NHS, a rash will usually appear between one to five days after infection – generally beginning on the face before spreading.

The rash is sometimes confused with chickenpox.

It starts as raised spots, which turn into small blisters filled with fluid. These blisters eventually form scabs that later fall off.

Between one and 21 days after infection, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • High temperature
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Backache
  • Swollen glands
  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion

All in all, symptoms can last around two to four weeks.

How is monkeypox treated?

Treatment takes place in a specialist hospital to prevent the spread of monkeypox.

There is no single cure for monkeypox, so treatment is largely focused on relieving symptoms – including lowering your temperature, easing pain, and taking antibiotics to help fight the infection.

Most people with the infection will make a full recovery within two to four weeks.

Is there a monkeypox vaccine?

Although there is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, a vaccine used against smallpox – a more severe virus which has since been eradicated – is said to offer some protection.

According to the World Health Organisation, the jab was ‘demonstrated through observational studies to be about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox’.

Health workers in the UK who have been exposed to the virus are being offered a smallpox vaccine.

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