As the monkeypox virus continues to spread in the country and other parts of the world, there is fear that the disease could bring about another pandemic similar to COVID-19. But experts have assured the public that the monkeypox illness is mostly mild and self-limiting.
Many people have already gotten sick with the monkeypox virus amid the outbreak, but several were able to recover without any monkeypox-specific treatment, according to CNN.
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told the outlet that people with monkeypox disease could heal on their own due to the nature of the virus being self-limiting.
“For the most part, these illnesses are relatively mild. They can be disfiguring and yucky, but they will heal on their own — though it may take some time,” Schaffner explained.
Because monkeypox resolves on its own, there is no specific cure available for it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not even approved any therapies specifically for its treatment.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the antiviral medication tecovirimat, sold under the brand name TPOXX, for severe monkeypox disease amid the outbreak.
Though monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox, they are notably less severe. The common symptoms of a monkeypox infection include fever, headache, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, back pain and lack of energy. Patients also develop a rash in the initial stage that latter on progress to painful lesions.
In response to the outbreak, the U.S. government has been encouraging everyone at risk for monkeypox, especially members of the LGBTQ community, to get vaccinated. The Jynneos vaccine is the only one approved for use in the U.S.
The CDC said people should get vaccinated within four days after a monkeypox exposure. But even without direct exposure, those at risk of infection are strongly recommended to get jabbed.
“The advantages of vaccination are that people who may have been exposed to monkeypox — before the onset of the rash — may benefit from vaccination either in preventing the full spectrum of disease or in reducing the severity of disease,” said Weill Cornell Medical College professor Dr. Jay Varma.