As new cases of monkeypox – a rare viral disease similar to smallpox – make headlines locally and globally, Fenway Health would like to strongly encourage any patient presenting with potential symptoms to schedule an appointment with their PCP.
According to the CDC, monkeypox symptoms may include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- 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.
Media coverage of the outbreak has tied the majority of cases to gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). While this outbreak may have began at an event attended by mostly MSM, we would like to emphasize that monkeypox is NOT an STD or a “gay disease;” it is spread through close bodily contact and can infect anyone.
We recognize that right now, there is a lot of anxiety and fear around monkeypox in our local LGBTQIA+ community. It is critical that we treat this as a public health issue that affects everyone, and not allow it to become a source of stigma or shame.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to monkeypox, please make an appointment to be evaluated as soon as possible. As always, we take utmost concern for your privacy and hope that all patients who need evaluation do choose to get in touch with their providers.