In light of increasing cases, the federal government has declared a national public health emergency in response to the current monkeypox outbreak. The Arkansas Department of Health has announced they will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as recommendations change.
The first case of monkeypox in Arkansas was identified in July 2022.
The symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle pain, and a painful rash that occurs seven to 14 days after exposure. The rash may be located on or near the genitals or anus but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, or face
Monkeypox is spread through close contact and can be transmitted to anyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity. It can be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact with infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. This can include household and/or intimate contact. Spreading can also occur when contacting contaminated items, such as clothing. It can also be transmitted through respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact; however, it is not an airborne illness.
Monkeypox is NOT spread through casual, brief conversations or walking by someone with monkeypox, like at a grocery store.
There are vaccines available for those potentially exposed to monkeypox. Antiviral drugs are also available for the treatment of the illness.