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Emergency Health Services

Posted on: August 15, 2022

NETEC Monkeypox Situation Updated for EMS Professionals

New Information on How to Identify Monkeypox in Clinical Settings for EMS Professionals

  1. The signs and symptoms of Monkeypox typically include flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, muscle aches), swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that becomes vesicular/pustular, starting on the face and covering the whole body. Learn more about the clinical signs of Monkeypox.

  1. In a departure from the typical signs and symptoms of Monkeypox, current cases commonly report genital and perianal lesions, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and pain when swallowing. While oral sores, along with fever and swollen lymph nodes, continue to be common features, recent cases have reported perianal or genital lesions without fever, and in many cases the rash develops in the perianal or genital region and does not spread to other areas of the body. (WHO)

  1. Typically, a health care professional should screen individuals presenting with symptoms for recent travel to a country where Monkeypox is endemic, including Central and Western African countries such as Nigeria or the Democratic Republic of Congo, or other areas reporting Monkeypox cases, or for close contact with a person sick with Monkeypox in the last 5-21 days. 

  1. Unlike previous cases reported in non-endemic countries, the current outbreak does not appear to have a strong link to travel to areas where the disease is more common. Anyone who has had close physical contact with someone who has symptoms of Monkeypox, or has traveled to a country with confirmed cases of Monkeypox or where Monkeypox is endemic, is at risk of infection. Several of the cases that have been reported from non-endemic countries have been identified in men who have sex with men, however the risk of Monkeypox is not limited to people who are sexually active or men who have sex with men. (WHO)

  1. The development of genital or perianal rash before or in lieu of the rash spreading to other parts of the body in many cases suggests close physical contact, including sexual contact, as the likely route of transmission. Monkeypox rashes can resemble some sexually transmitted infections (STI), including herpes and syphilis. Clinicians should consider a Monkeypox diagnosis when presented with an STI-associated or STI-like rash, even if it is localized and not (yet) diffuse. Refer to the CDC’s Case Definitions for use in the 2022 Monkeypox Response.

NETEC Resources & Recommendations for Monkeypox Preparedness

NETEC has been actively engaged in supporting U.S. health care agencies that encounter, or may encounter, a case of monkeypox virus infection with free, ongoing guidance and resources.

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