Home / News / India /  Got rashes? How do you know it's Monkeypox, not something else?
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With India reporting its first Monkeypox case on Thursday, the concerns around the disease have increased manifold. And knowing that developing rashes is one of its key symptoms, it is natural to panic when you get one. But it is to be noted here that a rash can be caused by lots of things. However, how do know from symptoms whether it is monkeypox or some other thing? Know here: 

How does monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox is not very transmissible. The virus spreads only through close contact, i.e. prolonged contact - often skin-to-skin with the infected person. So first try to assess whether you have been exposed.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Most monkeypox patients experience only fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. People with more serious illness may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands that can spread to other parts of the body.

It starts with what we call macules. These are just red areas. Then it progresses to papules. This is something you can feel, World Health Organization's (WHO) Dr Rosamund Lewis said, as reported by BBC. 

Those red lumps and bumps then start to blister, and fill with a whitish fluid. In time, they start drying out and scab over. Eventually, the scabs will heal and drop off.

A monkeypox rash usually starts on the face - sometimes in the mouth too - and then the arms and legs, hands and feet, as well as the trunk of the body.

What else the rashes can be?

Chickenpox: This rash is very itchy and goes through similar stages as monkeypox, ending with scabs. "This is why it (Monkeypox) can be confused with chickenpox," says Dr Lewis.

Scabies: When mites lay eggs in the skin, scabies can happen. The rash can appear anywhere on the body and they are extremely itchy. But usually, it starts between the fingers.

Bedbugs or insect bites: In case, you are bitten by bedbugs, you may develop lesions that are itchy and red, and are often grouped in a line or cluster.

Molluscum: A common viral infection, Molluscum is harmless but can spread around the body, causing itchy, firm, raised spots that have a small dimple in the middle. Usually, children are seen to get Molluscum.

Allergy: This itchy, stinging, red rash is a skin reaction to something that the body thinks is a threat and reacts to. You can develop allergies from food, medicine or chemicals.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that it will hold an emergency meeting next week to assess if monkeypox should be declared a global emergency. Last month, the agency said the outbreak did not yet warrant the declaration but said it would review issues such as the possibility that monkeypox might be infecting more vulnerable populations like children, and whether the virus is causing more severe disease.

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