Monkeypox Virus: What Healthcare Providers Need to Know
Monkeypox Information for Local Healthcare Providers:
As the number of cases of Monkeypox continues to increase in the US, the likelihood of your need to test a patient also increases. Please feel free to contact the Putnam County Health Department with any questions. As a quick reference, please see the below pertinent information regarding testing suspect cases.
Typical disease progression is as follows:
Viral symptoms including fever, headache, body aches, fatigue accompanied by lymphadenopathy followed by the appearance of a rash. Lesions tend to progress through the following stages: macule, papule, vesicle, pustule, scab. The patient is contagious until new skin has formed under the scabs. The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks and is self-limited. Transmission is through direct contact of the lesions and/or contaminated bedding or clothing. There is also evidence of transmission through large respiratory droplets and bodily fluids.
Clinical criteria include:
- New onset rash: macular, papular, vesicular or pustular. May be generalized or localized, discreet or confluent.
- Other signs/symptoms that may include chills/sweats or new lymphadenopathy.
Epidemiologic criteria include:
Within the last 21 days prior to illness onset:
Contact with a person or people with a similar rash or whom have been diagnosed with monkeypox
Close or intimate contact with individuals in a high-risk social network including MSM, online meeting apps or social events
Travel outside the US to a country with confirmed Monkeypox outbreaks or where Monkeypox is endemic
Contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that is an African endemic species
If you see a patient that fits the above criteria:
- Isolate patient and provide a mask. Cover any lesions that may be exposed with a sheet or gown.
- Use appropriate PPE: gown, mask, face shield, gloves.
- Vigorously swab the lesions using a sterile synthetic swab. The rash may be in various stages in different areas of the body. It is best to take two samples from at least two different lesions for a thorough sample. Break off the applicator and place into a 1.5 mL or 2 mL screw capped tube. Please use a separate tube for each swab.
- Contact the Health Department for instructions for specimen shipment to the WV Office of Laboratory Services.
- Freeze specimens within an hour of collection
- Specimens must be shipped on dry ice, as any specimens above 8 degrees C will be rejected by the lab.
The WVDHHR Monkeypox Surveillance and Investigation Protocol document is linked here for a more in-depth study. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.
Samia Turner, MD
Putnam County Health Department
CDC | Clinical Recognition of Monkeypox Virus
WV HAN Health Alert #202 Monkeypox Update
Updated August 12, 2022