I wanted to share this resource I found about how to help identify monkeypox symptoms and learn more about how it is spread.
The virus is spread through close contact via respiratory droplets (not as small/far traveling as C19 it sounds like...), body fluids (assume all until more studies are done), skin to skin contact, and contact with surfaces that came in contact with an infected person.
Things I have found noteworthy in my research about MP:
Symptoms will start where any skin to skin/contaminated surface contact happened, then follow a head>trunk>extremeties pattern. (If contacted via respiratory tract, I assume just head>trunk>extremeties progression).
The way monkeypox is spreading in the west is different then how it has presented in cases in Africa in the past. (some evolution)
Initial skin symptoms can look like mosquito bites or inflammed hair folicles until they progress (and become VERY painful!) The video above shows the stages the liasons work through over the course of the virus.
Lymph nodes are often enlarged and tender, and an early symptom.
This virus seems generally harder to contract then C19 due to supposedly needing closer contact to spread, but there are specific communities that may have higher risk factors (ie: anyone who participates in multiple partner play/intimacy, is non-monogamous, works in medical settings and/or works in a job involving public service or is service oriented).
it's noteworthy that the virus can live on surfaces or skin cells that have shed off of an infected person, even after that person has left (including bedding - video notes one case where hospital worker who was gowned/gloved/not masked contracting it from changing bedding in a room that had previously had a monkeypox patient in it).
The virus is only spread when an infected person is symptomatic, which includes mild symptoms (aches, fever, tired) before skin rash develops.
The reported pain by some is very severe, and while not usually deadly, it sounds like it could be very challenging. One self-report I read had the infected person stating they contemplated suicide, and was a "30" on the one to 10 pain scale, unable to control the pain with prescription pain killers.
These are things that are reported to help reduce spread of monkeypox:
Wearing masks in public spaces where there is close contact/conversation with other people who may be infected.
Washing hands frequentely, and using alcohol based hand sanitizer
Limiting skin to skin contact with anyone suspected of having monkeypox
Cleaning any/all surfaces that may have come in recent contact with someone who is infected with monkeypox
Getting a monkeypox vaccine (especially if high risk)
Other resources about monkeypox:
Precautions I will be taking to protect myself and my clients:
Low volume operation: 1-2 clients per week max, spaced apart 2 or more days
Watching for symptoms (daily temperature checks, internal & external body scans/awareness).
Cancelling/postponing appointments if any possible symptoms present themselves
Extra touch surface cleaning and extra protection/cover for active work spaces/furniture at meeting location.
Monitoring for any symptoms to arise after meetings, contacting clients ASAP if any questionable symptoms arise.
These highlighted points are also things I ask my clients to follow to protect my health, and the health of others I may come in contact with in my life. Thank you for showing mutual care and respect as we do what we can to reduce risks and spread of public health issues such as this.
In my personal life, I am still trying to figure out what my new normal is going to be... I no longer have the same interest in group parties and events. Is it my maturity & experience level wanting something different in my group play? The current state of public health? The current solo work I have been doing on myself that has deepened the past year or so? Concerns about my role working in a public service job, and the responsibilities I feel I have to my other clients, as well as those I love?? All of that really... I miss parties/clubs/events, and I still crave that energy, but I want it a different way moving forward. I'm not exactly sure of how to manifest that yet, so I am going to continue following what feels right to me at the moment, which is sticking to just my own personal play practice, which still allows for my own journey, but reduces risks for all involved.
What I ask from my clients is that they please do the following in return:
PLEASE CANCEL OUR MEETING IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS:
Muscle aches and backaches
Swollen lymph nodes
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE A RASH TO BE CONSIDERED SYMPTOMATIC, AND THEREFORE SPREAD THE VIRUS. Initial rash can seem minor, and look like irritated hair folicles or mosquito bites. I will apply any deposit left after expenses to reschedule if it is within the 72 hour window that normally is non-refundable.