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I’m Sick With Monkeypox, What Can I Do?

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Vaccinations are your friend

Monkeypox can be a bit scarier than COVID with its potential risks and a bit of a higher kill rate. One of the biggest questions everyone has is how to stay healthy when you get monkeypox. Before you read this, reading my blog 'how to correctly quarantine' could help you too.


The best thing you can do to stay healthy from monkeypox is to not get sick! Masking up, staying inside when you can, and getting vaccinated (all I have talked more deeply into in other blogs) will help with this. If you need to go in public, n-92 masks are the best masks to wear. these keep you safe from all loads of things, including COVID, monkeypox, and the flu. However, even doing all of these correctly you can still wind up getting the virus. So what can you do to beat monkeypox smoothly if you end up getting it?

What you need to know

You got sick, not what?

It is not a big deal if you have contracted monkeypox. You should not feel embarrassed, dirty, or bad because you got it, stuff happens. Most of the time, people who get the virus are fine two to six weeks later. I am going to write about how to keep yourself healthy during your quarantine (mentally and physically), but first, what should you do immediately after testing positive?
When you first test positive, immediately call your local public health authority and notify them of the positive test. Another step you should take is to let everyone know that you may have been in contact with that you tested positive for monkeypox, a contagious disease. Co-workers to family members, tell everyone you had the slightest contact with just to be on the safe side. In addition, if you can, you will have to take care of yourself. The fewer people around your area the better, so find a place to safely be alone for two to six weeks. If necessary, you can have someone taking care of you but be extra cautious. But you've done all that, so now what?
There is no known 'cure' for monkeypox, but there is a vaccine that is slowly being handed out, so you should consider getting that to reduce the severity of the symptoms. I have a few blogs touching down on the vaccination you can read as well. Some illnesses may not have complete cures, but nearly all have something you can do to make your time with the virus manageable.

Symptoms of monkeypox

One of the main symptoms that scare others that COVID didn't have was pox and scarring. To start, keeping track of the lesions to see which ones are newer and should be taken care of, and which ones are scabbing would be a huge help. Newer lesions are more painful and should be monitored, especially those around the eyes and mouth area. Older marks are bound to scab and fall off on their own, so try not to pick at them! The lesions scare most people simply because they are scared of the scars that will be with them forever. Scars are more likely to occur if you pick, pop, squeeze, or exfoliate in any way, so let those wounds heal and fall off on their own (this will take a while). Using sunscreen when needed also helps for the healthier growth of your new skin. Also, always wash your hands after touching your lesions. The main way this virus is spread is through touching someone's lesions, or something they have recently been in contact with. Washing your hands can help those taking care of you not get sick.

How to keep healthy

More simple things to do to keep yourself healthy are to keep well-rested, eat full meals, and stay happy and motivated! Staying in bed the entire time is not nesessary, but make sure you're getting 8 hours of sleep and are napping when your body feels exhausted. Eating healthy and full meals is very important to keep your fighting body healthy, eat your fruits and veggies! Eating foods rich in vitamins help a faster recovery, as your body needs them when it is fighting an illness. There is an acronym to remember when you're sick and it is BRAT. I remember it because viruses can be brats! Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are healthy, cheap, and easy items to keep you healthy. You can also take supplement pills for vitamins you may not be getting from your meals. Water is also very important. Keeping hydrated is one of the best ways to make your body feel better when you are sick, and it also keeps your mind clear. Normally drinking eight cups a day is fine, but drink around ten cups when you are sick, especially if your symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting (these are quite rare with monkeypox but can still be present). Finally, staying happy and motivated (which is sometimes the hardest when you're sick for two to six weeks!) is important. Do anything you can to get your mind off of being sick. Play games, text and call friends, and find new hobbies. Most importantly, stay quarantined until all of your lesions are fully healed.

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COVID vs Monkeypox

I am sure we are all curious about the differences between COVID and monkeypox. To begin, monkeypox has very serious long-term side effects. I am not saying COVID does not, but monkeypox can leave you blind if the scars happen to be around your eyes. Both COVID and monkeypox have similar symptoms, but the winner is the lesions monkeypox gives you. These are extremely painful and cause scarring if they are worse enough. Monkeypox also has a higher death rate than COVID. COVID simply passes on to more people quicker, but like I said monkeypox is deadlier even though it may not seem like it. The death rates of monkeypox vary from country to country, depending on the healthcare it has, but it is worse than COVID. The death count, however, is lower as of right now. If this starts spreading as COVID did though, the death count will reach higher than COVID because it is more deadly. Monkeypox vaccines are a bit different as well. COVID seems like you may need to get one every year like the flu shot, but it may be twice in your lifetime for monkeypox (the research is not final, but it is similar to chickenpox vaccines so that is why they think it will only require two vaccinations).

CDC information on COVID vs Monkeypox

If you have an emergency, please read!

If there is an emergency, do not hesitate to call 911 or visit the hospital. How serious monkeypox can get ranges from person to person, so if you think your symptoms are worsening or you feel ill, please seek a doctor. Not all cases end up in the hospital, but it is better to be safe than sorry. There are antiviral pills available if you need a little extra help.

This isn't everything you can do to feel better when you're sick, but it's a great start! Masking up and preventing the illness is best, but when you get monkeypox you need to first contact a local public health authority and notify them and isolate yourself. It is also important to take care of your lesions, sleep and eat well, and keep your mind healthy too!

About the Poxvirus

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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