Questions and answers about monkeypox and its vaccine

Jul 27, 2022, 12:50 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 10:22 am


In this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention handout graphic, symptoms of one of the first known cases of the monkeypox virus are shown on a patient?s hand. (CDC/Getty Images)

(CDC/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Now that the World Health Organization has declared monkeypox a global health emergency, rather than being afraid of a virus we don’t understand, let’s get some answers a few basic questions.

The first monkeypox question we asked was “is the virus like chickenpox.”

“It is somewhat related in the sense that it’s a viral infection,” Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious diseases expert with South Shore Health in Weymouth, Massachusetts told Utah’s Morning News on KSL Newsradio.

WHO declares monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern

“But the presentation is a little different. The rash that you get from chickenpox is different. The rash with chickenpox is more like a blister, whereas with monkeypox, it’s hard pus pockets that can be very, very painful.”

Does monkeypox come from monkeys?

Dr. Wildes says “no.” “It’s really a misnomer to say ‘monkeypox’ because people think it comes from monkeys. What initially happened is when they did the research study, it was done in colonies of monkeys, so they said ‘monkeypox’.”

She said that what they’re finding now is that the virus lives in rodents and similar animals.

Question: who is getting monkeypox?

Monkeypox has been in Africa for decades, but it’s only been in the United States since 2021.  Another monkeypox question we asked was, who is getting monkeypox in the U.S.?

“Based on the data that we have from the CDC, the group that is seeing the most cases is gay and bisexual men,” Dr. Wildes said. “That doesn’t mean that other people can’t get monkeypox or spread monkeypox.”

She was quick to add, “We don’t want to stigmatize this group. We have seen that happen in the past with HIV. I just want people to know, anyone can get monkeypox and anyone can spread it. We’re just seeing a lot of cases right now in that particular group.”

How does monkeypox spread? It’s spread whenever you come into contact with infected body fluid. You can spread it directly or if you share towels or sheets. It can also be spread through respiratory droplets.

Who should be vaccinated for monkeypox?

As soon as you’re aware that you’ve come into contact with someone with monkeypox, you should call your doctor and get vaccinated. Dr. Wildes explained that “the general public would not need to run to get the monkeypox vaccine right now.”

Question: can you die from monkeypox?

How serious is monkeypox? Dr. Wildes told KSL, the rash can be very painful. The symptoms usually last between 2-4 weeks. However, the disease is usually not fatal, with a 3-6% fatality rate. “There have been some cases of death in people who are immunocompromised and children less than 8 years old outside the U.S.,” Dr. Wildes explained. All in all, nowhere near as serious as Covid-19.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.



Michelle Lee

Find greater happiness through joy-filled connections

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Carla Manly to learn how we can boost happiness through connections.

5 hours ago

The Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.A Utah cancer researcher says more study is n...

Don Brinkerhoff and Simone Seikaly

Utah cancer researcher says new accelerated aging study needs more examination

A new study says accelerated aging may be linked to early-onset cancer, but a Utah cancer researcher says more investigation is needed.

1 day ago

It's Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Intermountain wants parents to know how to deal with the str...

Devin Oldroyd

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month; Parents should know how to handle baby stress

It's Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Intermountain wants parents to know how to deal with the stress of a new baby

1 day ago

A team at the University of Utah has received funding to research if ultrasound technology can help...

Britt Johnson

University of Utah using funding for ultrasound research to treat addiction

Could an ultrasound help cure addiction? A team of researchers at the University of Utah thinks so.

2 days ago

Pickleball has exploded in popularity in Utah and across the nation. Perhaps not surprisingly, so h...

Amanda Dickson

Dickson: Preventing pickleball injuries

SALT LAKE CITY — My Dad played pickleball until he was 90 years old. He was a stud. And there are several seriously competitive pickleball players in the KSL newsroom. I won’t name names (Matt Johnson). “Pickleball is exploding in the U.S. with the number of players increasing from 4.8 million in 2021 to 8.9 […]

3 days ago

Melatonin is a hormonal sleep aid. According to the Mayo Clinic, melatonin is produced and released...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Melatonin companies given two years to childproof their product, after melatonin related ER visits increase

The CDC said more than 11,000 children went to the ER in the last two years after ingesting melatonin.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Questions and answers about monkeypox and its vaccine