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DES MOINES, Iowa — Polk County has eight confirmed cases of monkeypox so far, and the Polk County Health Department is keeping close tabs on possible new cases.

To combat the spread the PCHD has been getting the word out on what the symptoms of monkeypox are and how you can avoid getting it.

Nola Aigner Davis, the Public Health Communications Officer at the PCHD said the virus is considered low risk right now in terms of transmission.

“The biggest thing that we really want to do is keep awareness in people’s forefront and awareness means what is monkeypox, how does it spread, what are the signs and symptoms, how do I prevent monkeypox and we’re doing this a lot for our social media,” Aigner Davis said.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion 
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

An important thing to note is that people are still infectious until the rash has fully healed.

“The most important thing for individuals who have monkeypox the sores or the rash, is you are still infectious until those sores scab and new skin develops,” Aigner Davis said, “That could take up to four weeks.”

To learn more about monkeypox visit the CDC’s website.