Monkeypox vs. COVID-19

Like COVID-19, Monkeypox has been in the news lately. The two diseases don’t have much else in common.

COVID-19 is very common

COVID-19 is still a pandemic, common around the world. Washington County is currently at moderate risk, and some estimates figure that 60% of Americans have had the disease at some point. 

There have been several thousand cases of monkeypox in the United States at this point and a handful in Arkansas. This is not a common disease. However, there have been outbreaks around the world.

COVID-19 is very contagious

It is easy to catch COVID-19 just from being in the same room with an infected person. Monkeypox, which is related to smallpox, is not that easy to catch. 

While we are still learning about monkeypox, at this point, it appears that it is spread mostly through bodily fluids. People can catch the disease from contact with sores on the skin of someone who has monkeypox. Clothing or bedding that has touched those lesions can be infected, and it is possible to catch the disease by contact with infected items. It can also be transmitted by close personal contact, like kissing or sex. 

Like all contagious diseases, both COVID-19 and monkeypox can be made less dangerous by practices like washing hands and maintaining social distance. 

Monkeypox causes a rash

Both diseases cause fevers, but monkeypox also causes a painful rash. It is related to smallpox, and like smallpox, it can result in weeping sores. This is the way that the disease usually spreads. 

The rash shows up 7-10 days after exposure. 

COVID-19 requires vaccination before exposure

You must receive the COVID-19 vaccination before being exposed to the disease for it to work. It will make it less likely that you will catch the disease, and if you do still contract it, you will be less likely to get a severe case. 

The vaccine is readily available, and everyone should have it. 

For monkeypox, the vaccine can be given after exposure but before the symptoms begin. There are fewer vaccines available, and fewer people actually need to be vaccinated. If you know you have been exposed, you should immediately see your primary care physician. Quick action can limit the likelihood of you coming down with it and suffering from the symptoms.