Measles is a highly contagious virus, typically spread by respiratory droplets or discharges when a person coughs or sneezes. Although often seen as a disease for children, measles can affect people for any age.
Measles has a wide range of symptoms, including:
- A rash, usually lasting three or more days,
- A fever (at least 38°C) which is present at the time of the rash onset.
In some people, it can be very serious. Measles is prevented by vaccination.
To download a fact sheet on measles, click here.
Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.
Since mid-May 2022 there have been cases of monkeypox reported from multiple countries that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, and local transmission has occurred in these countries.
Monkeypox does not easily spread between people, as it usually requires prolonged face-to-face contact. It may be spread from person to person through skin-to-skin contact, contact with contaminated items or surfaces, and respiratory droplets.
The first symptoms of monkeypox are usually fever, chills, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion.
After a few days, the characteristic blistering rash appears, usually on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. It may also appear in the mouth, on the palms of hands and soles of the feet, or on the genitalia. The number of lesions varies from a few to several thousand. The rash changes and goes through different stages, like chickenpox, before finally becoming a scab that falls off.
The symptoms usually resolve by themselves within a few weeks.
Person-to-person transmission of monkeypox occurs with very close contact with infected people (such as skin-to skin contact during intimate or sexual contact) and can also spread through respiratory droplets and contact with ‘fomites’ or contaminated surfaces (such as contaminated clothing, towels or furniture).
The incubation period typically varies from 7 to 14 days from exposure, but can range from 5 to 21 days.
People with monkeypox are contagious from the time that they develop their first symptoms (which is usually fever, but occasionally starts with a rash) and until rash lesions crust, dry or fall off.
Anyone developing symptoms that may be consistent with monkeypox should seek medical care, wearing a mask and calling ahead to make sure they can be isolated away from others.
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