How Long Does It Take To Show Symptoms Of Monkeypox?

Recent cases of monkeypox have raised concerns about the virus, but the World Health Organization said there is no reason to panic just yet. The organization's technical lead, Rosamund Lewis, said that while it is still early to tell if recent outbreaks could lead to a pandemic, she didn't think it was likely, reportsĀ  CNBC. One of the reasons is that it is a DNA virus, and current research indicates that these kinds of viruses don't spread as easily as RNA viruses, like COVID-19, do.

Lewis added that the world had a "window" to help prevent outbreaks. To do this, the WHO recommends practicing good hygiene and safe sex. Those who believe they have contracted the virus should isolate until the sores have crusted and fallen off, and people who have been in contact with other infected individuals should monitor symptoms for 21 days. In the meantime, they should not donate blood, tissues, cells, organs, semen, or breast milk.

Monkeypox has a long incubation period

It may take a while for symptoms of monkeypox to occur. Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee, told Healthline that the virus has a "very long incubation period," adding that once it enters the body, it will affect internal organs first. It can take up to one to two weeks for any symptoms to appear after a person becomes infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Once symptoms begin to show, they will most likely include a fever, body aches, a headache, and fatigue.

Schaffner said that while the body is fighting those symptoms, other signs, such as swollen lymph nodes, will appear. The CDC points out that swollen lymph nodes are a distinctive symptom of monkeypox, noting that the smallpox virus does not cause this particular reaction. From there, a rash will often appear on the hands, face, feet, mouth, or genitals. The rash will go through four phases (macular, papular, vesicular, to pustular) before turning into scabs and falling off. The CDC states that these stages can last anywhere from two to three weeks, adding that the health of the person will determine how severe monkeypox will become.