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5 Signs of Monkeypox: Identifying the Virus

5 Signs of Monkeypox: Identifying the Virus

As the monkeypox endemic becomes more of a crisis in the country, learning to identify the signs and symptoms of monkeypox in the workplace will help you know when you need to isolate and protect yourself and your colleagues at work.

1. Temperature and Chills

Not everyone will experience all the symptoms of monkeypox but the majority of the symptoms of the virus draw similarities to the typical flu-like signs. This can make it difficult to detect monkeypox in the early stages of the infection as you might attribute the symptoms to a standard cold.

One identifying sign of monkeypox can be a high temperature and extreme shivering. Fever is a classic sign of many illnesses as it's the body's way of fighting an infection. You may feel hot and sweaty when your temperature rises too high.

Another feature of a fever is the sudden feeling of being overly cold. This is your brain telling you that your body is at a lower temperature than it should be which then causes chills as your body tries to heat you up to defend against the virus.

2. Body Aches

Monkeypox symptoms also include various aches and pains, including headaches, muscle aches and backaches.

Identifying monkeypox from a headache alone may prove problematic as there are several causes ranging from not getting enough sleep to being stressed out at work. Paired with muscle aches and backaches presents a stronger case for showing signs of the illness though these can also be attributed to injuries and overuse in stretching and exercising.

If you haven't had any recent injuries or issues with overstretching, it's worth noting that any aches and joint pains in your body could be a potential symptom of monkeypox, especially when paired with other signs of the illness.

3. Swollen Glands

There are several infections and illnesses that can cause swollen glands including tonsillitis and glandular fever. As with the other symptoms, this may mean nothing on its own or it may mean you have another illness. Either way, it's important to identify this as a possible sign and to take the necessary precautions to protect your workplace and spend some time getting better.

You can identify swollen glands by feeling for tender, painful lumps on your neck, armpit, groin or under the chin. They manifest near the area of infection as your body's way of fighting a virus.

Swollen lymph nodes caused by an infection like monkeypox will be soft and moveable. If you find swollen glands that are harder and more painless, be aware that this may be a sign of a more serious condition rather than a simple cold or infection.

4. Exhaustion

Another typical flu-like symptom that can also double up as a symptom of monkeypox is the feeling of fatigue.

Generally, this symptom won't be too severe, with the exhaustion simply amounting to feeling weaker and more tired while your body devotes time to fighting the infection.

Make sure you drink plenty of water and take the time to let your body rest. This is your body's way of telling you to slow down and let the illness run its course. If you feel exhausted at work, paired with other symptoms, it's always a good idea to take time off even if it turns out not to be monkeypox.

5. Rashes

The main way you can identify if you have monkeypox or not is the rash that develops. Unfortunately, this symptom often makes its appearance a few days after the other symptoms begin so it can be hard to tell whether you have monkeypox or not until the rashes start.

The rashes can appear anywhere on your body, particularly in the area which was first exposed to the monkeypox virus. This can include the hands, face, mouth or genitals.

The rash will look like a series of raised spots on your skin to start with before filling with pus and fluid. After becoming blisters, they will eventually turn into scabs and fall off. You'll be able to identify the rash in its first stages so make sure you are isolating by this point to decrease the risk of spreading the virus to your work colleagues.

As it is so hard to identify monkeypox symptoms in the early stages of the illness, before the rash appears, don't forget to keep tabs on whether you've come into contact with an infected person.

If you think you've been exposed to monkeypox, take all the necessary protective steps like isolating at home to make sure others in your workplace aren't exposed and everything is kept clean and sanitised to prevent any further spread of the virus.

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