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Silent Symptoms of Monkeypox You Need to Know

What to know about monkeypox. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

As monkeypox continues to spread worldwide officials are watching the virus closely and although it is a rare occurrence cases are still rising throughout the United States. While researchers are still learning about how monkeypox affects different communities, Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, Urgent Care Medical Director and Physician, Carbon Health and Saint Mary's Hospital who explained what seniors should know about the virus and symptoms to watch out for. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss Already Had COVID? These Symptoms May "Never Go Away".


What Do People Need to Know About Monkeypox?

Swollen Lymph Nodes

Dr. Curry-Winchell says, "Monkeypox is a rare disease first discovered in the late 1950's after two outbreaks of pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept in research. What we know is symptoms of monkeypox are similar but milder than those of smallpox – with the big difference being swelling of the lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)." 


Why Are Cases Increasing in the States?

senior man consulting with doctor

"Great question! It's not clear how people are being exposed, but scientists at the CDC are tracking it, and developed a global map monitoring real time data," Dr. Curry-Winchell  states.


How Does Monkeypox Affect Seniors?

Person refuses nurse injection or vaccination.

According to Dr. Curry-Winchell, "It's hard to say this early in the game, but we are learning older adults previously vaccinated against decades-old smallpox are escaping with only mild symptoms."


Fever, Headache, and Muscle Aches

Senior lady taking notes, sitting in front of computer, touching her head

Dr. Curry-Winchell explains, "Yes, these are common symptoms for a lot of diseases/viruses so it's important for seniors to monitor their symptoms closely. The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21."


Swollen Lymph Nodes

woman touching neck with her hands.

"This is the distinguishing feature of monkeypox from smallpox," says Dr. Curry-Winchell.

"Lymph nodes may swell in different areas (generalized) or localize to a specific area such as the armpit or groin area."  




Dr. Curry-Winchell shares, "Typically, 1 to 3 days after a fever or swollen lymph nodes, a person with monkeypox will begin to develop lesions often starting on the face before spreading to other areas. These lesions will go through several stages before eventually falling off."



Sick young woman lying in the bed covered with blanket

"Like most illnesses you often feel tired while under the weather," Dr. Curry-Winchell states. "However, with monkeypox patients often state feeling exhausted even with adequate rest." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather