Have you ever considered the possibility of getting infected with a rare virus during a massage? It may sound preposterous, but recent medical cases point towards one particular disease that is making headlines: Monkeypox.
A viral illness similar to smallpox, Monkeypox has been confirmed in several people across different parts of the world. The virus can cause severe flu-like symptoms and lead to complications such as nodules on the skin, which resembles chickenpox. Most cases reported appear to be caused by direct contact with sick animals or their body fluids.
“Monkeypox infections have rarely been documented outside Africa until recently. Cases acquired outside of Africa continue to be very rare,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There are a few confirmed reports where Monkeypox virus transmission occurred from human-to-human, specifically through respiratory droplets, exposure to contaminated clothes, linens, or equipment used on an infected person. Medical professionals call it secondary transmission, meaning that the infection was passed from one person to another when they were not directly exposed to infected animals themselves.
So, what does this mean for frequent spa-goers, wellness enthusiasts, and clients who receive regular massages? Experts suggest that salon and clinic professionals must maintain strict hygiene protocols and follow preventive measures to keep themselves and their surroundings clean and free of any potential infection sources.
“Avoiding close contact with those who are visibly ill while maintaining universal precautions against bodily fluid exposure — including good handwashing practices — will reduce chances of contracting monkeypox,” warns Erin Epson, DVM, MS, MPH, who works at the CDC’s poxvirus program.
If you’re concerned about how vulnerable you are to Monkeypox from a massage, or other ways that you might catch this elusive virus, read on. In this blog post, you’ll discover the shocking truth about whether Monkeypox can be transmitted through a massage and learn how to protect yourself from this rare but dangerous disease.
What is Monkeypox and How is it Transmitted?
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that belongs to the same family as smallpox. It was first discovered in 1958 when outbreaks occurred among monkeys kept for research purposes, hence the name monkeypox. The virus can be transmitted from animals to humans or from human to human through direct contact with bodily fluids or through respiratory droplets spread by coughing or sneezing.
The primary host of monkeypox is thought to be rodents such as squirrels, rats, and other small mammals, but the virus has also been found in primates like monkeys and apes. In Africa, where most cases of monkeypox are reported, people who come into close contact with infected animals are at higher risk of catching the virus. This includes hunters, traders, farmers, and those involved in animal care and handling.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
The symptoms of monkeypox usually begin with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion, similar to many other viral infections. Then a rash develops, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash progresses to small fluid-filled blisters that eventually crust over and fall off after around three weeks. Some patients may develop enlarged lymph nodes, which can be mistaken for bubonic plague.
The severity of monkeypox can vary greatly, ranging from mild illness lasting just a few days to severe disease requiring hospitalization. Unlike smallpox, monkeypox doesn’t always cause scarring but in rare cases, serious complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, encephalitis, and blindness, can occur. The death rate from monkeypox is estimated to be between 1% and 10%, depending on the outbreak and location.
Transmission of Monkeypox from Animals to Humans
Monkeypox is typically transmitted to humans through bites or scratches from infected animals, such as rodents and primates. The virus can also be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, like blood or saliva, or by inhaling respiratory droplets when an infected animal sneezes or coughs.
The risk of contracting monkeypox from animals can be reduced by taking precautions such as wearing gloves and other protective gear when handling animals, avoiding contact with sick or dead animals, washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after handing animals or their products, and cooking meat thoroughly before eating it. It’s important to note that pet prairie dogs, which have been imported into the United States for sale as pets, are thought to be one source of recent outbreaks in people who came into close contact with these animals.
Transmission of Monkeypox from Humans to Humans
Human-to-human transmission occurs primarily from close contact with infectious skin lesions, bodily fluids, and objects recently contaminated by infected persons’ fluids (e.g., bedding, clothing). Risk factors for human-to-human transmission include living in areas where monkeypox cases occur frequently, having intimate contact with a person who has active symptoms of monkeypox, attending funeral ceremonies involving individuals with probable or confirmed monkeypox without adhering to recommended infection prevention measures, and providing care to patients with monkeypox without taking necessary precautions. There is no evidence that aerosol transmission plays a significant role in human-to-human transmission; however, limited data suggests that respiratory transmission might occur during prolonged face-to-face contact, particularly if associated with super-spreading events.
Treatment Options for Monkeypox
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, although supportive care including antipyretics, pain relievers, and fluids can be provided. If the patient develops a secondary bacterial infection, antibiotics may be needed. Vaccination for smallpox has been used in some monkeypox outbreaks, as it provides partial protection against the disease.
People with suspected or confirmed cases of monkeypox should be isolated until they are no longer contagious; this usually means staying isolated for three weeks after symptom onset or until all lesions have crusted and healed. Strict infection control measures, like wearing gloves and gowns and using proper hand hygiene, should be followed when caring for patients with monkeypox to prevent further transmission.
“Most human infections result from contact with infected animals or animal products” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Although monkeypox is rare, everyone should take precautions when in proximity to wild rodents or primates, especially those who live in areas where online monkeypox cases occur frequently. As humans-to-human transmission might occur through close contacts or inadequate care provision, practicing strict sanitary habits and ensuring that bedding and clothes of an infected person are adequately treated is necessary.
Are Massages a Common Source of Monkeypox Transmission?
Understanding the Risks of Monkeypox Transmission during Massages
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. The virus causes fever, chills, rash and other flu-like symptoms in humans. Although the risk of transmission is low outside of Africa, recent cases of monkeypox have been reported in the United States. While the exact mode of transmission for monkeypox remains unclear, it is possible for the disease to spread through direct contact with an infected person’s skin or bodily fluids.
If you’re planning on getting a massage, it’s understandable to wonder whether it could put you at risk for contracting monkeypox. But according to experts, the risk is extremely low, even if the masseuse has contracted the virus.
Prevalence of Monkeypox Transmission during Massages
There have been very few reported cases of transmission of monkeypox virus through massages. In fact, there have only been two documented cases where people have contracted the virus after a massage – one in Japan and the other in Israel back in 2018. However, both incidences were linked to lymphatic drainage massages which involve deep tissue pressure in areas around the groin or armpits- where lymph nodes are located.
During a typical massage, the therapist generally works away from the lymph nodes avoiding any pressure to delicate regions including genitals, armpits among others. Therefore the risk of transmitting monkeypox via massage techniques involving extended hand-to-skin contact without intense pressure isolating body parts is pretty small.
Measures to Prevent Monkeypox Transmission during Massages
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthcare facilities use standard precautions when treating patients with monkeypox. This includes wearing gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection if they are in contact with anyone who has the virus or suspected to have such.
In the case of massage parlors, the most effective way of preventing the spread of monkeypox is by ensuring high levels of hygiene. After each client, towels should be washed and hands sanitized before attending to the next person. Additionally, the masseuse should maintain good personal hygiene- following CDC protocols such as masking and hand sanitizing at all times.
“Best practice remains hit hepatitis B & C and human immunodeficiency virus counseling evaluation referring to established clinical guidelines for donors..”- APMnews
Final thoughts on Can You Get Monkeypox from a Massage?
The chances of getting monkeypox through a massage are reportedly slim. Proper hygiene standards should be followed consistently, diminishing any possible risk of transmission. It’s important to note that even though the disease itself can be severe, mortality rate is less than 10 % and there hasn’t been any report of death related to monkey pox within the US till date. As long as general hygiene standards are maintained, it shouldn’t discourage you from enjoying a refreshing massage session once in awhile.
Precautions to Take When Getting a Massage During an Outbreak
Checking the Hygiene Standards of the Massage Parlor
When getting a massage during an outbreak, it is essential that you choose a massage parlor with high hygiene standards. A good way to check this is by visiting the parlor beforehand and taking a look around.
Ensure that the facility looks clean and well-maintained. Check if fresh linens are used for every client, and that they have been properly washed and sanitized. Additionally, make sure that the massage table and other equipment are thoroughly cleaned between each use.
It is also important to confirm that the massage therapists themselves practice proper hygiene. They should thoroughly wash their hands before and after every session. If you notice any red flags or suspect poor hygiene practices, consider looking for another massage establishment.
Asking the Therapist about Their Health Status
Another precaution to take when getting a massage during an outbreak is to ask the therapist about their health status. It’s not only clients who can spread diseases; massage therapists may contract illnesses as well through contact with multiple people in close quarters.
If you have any doubts about their health status, do not hesitate to ask them if they feel sick or have been exposed to anyone with symptoms associated with the disease. Furthermore, ensure that the therapist wears a mask while giving the massage. This will significantly reduce the risk of viral spread through respiratory droplets.
Be aware that some infected individuals may present no symptoms, so even if the therapist says they are feeling healthy, it is still advisable to take extra precautions such as wearing a protective facemask yourself.
Wearing Protective Clothing during Massages
Lastly, wearing protective clothing during massages can greatly reduce the risk of contracting diseases. It may not be practical to wear a full-body suit, but there are several other protective clothing options available.
You could wear long-sleeved shirts and pants that cover most parts of your body. Additionally, face masks can offer extra protection against viral droplets throughout a massage session.
Another way to protect yourself is by bringing along your own towels or sheets. This ensures that you are not sharing linens with previous clients who may have had an infection. Disposing of any used towels and linens in a safe manner can further prevent the spread of disease.
“Massage establishments should adhere to health department guidelines regarding sanitation, disinfecting, and hand hygiene.” -Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Getting a massage during an outbreak requires taking precautions to ensure that you remain healthy while also enjoying the benefits of relaxation and pain relief. By carefully checking the hygiene standards of the massage parlor, asking about the therapist’s health status, and wearing protective clothing, you can minimize your likelihood of being infected with diseases such as monkeypox.
How to Protect Yourself and Others from Monkeypox
Monkeypox can be a serious illness spread by animals, including mammals like rodents and primates. The virus can also be transmitted through human-to-human contact. Although rare, monkeypox outbreaks have been recorded in different parts of the world, including Africa, the United States, and Israel. In this article, we will explore ways to protect yourself and others from contracting monkeypox.
Practicing Good Hygiene Habits
The first step towards preventing the spread of monkeypox is practicing good hygiene habits. This involves washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after taking care of someone who may be infected with the virus or handling any animal products.
You should also cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, and clean and disinfect surfaces regularly to reduce the risk of contamination. If you experience symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, or skin rash, seek medical attention immediately.
Avoiding Contact with Infected Animals
Contact with infected animals is a common way that people contract monkeypox. Therefore, avoiding close contact with sick animals or their blood, fluids, and other tissues is critical in preventing infection.
If you are traveling to an area where monkeypox has been reported, avoid visiting markets or stores where live animals are sold or handled. Do not eat bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food), handle dead animals or their remains, or touch anything contaminated with animal fluids or secretions.
You should also prevent domestic pets and other animals from coming into contact with wild animals that may carry the virus. Consider routine veterinary checks for vaccinated pets to help reduce the risk of transmission. If you suspect that an animal may be infected with monkeypox, contact local health authorities immediately.
Getting Vaccinated against Monkeypox
Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent monkeypox. The vaccine currently used in the United States was developed during the smallpox eradication program and has been shown to protect people from monkeypox.
“The monkeypox vaccine can provide protection from all strains of monkeypox virus,” says Dr. Anna Poteet, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend vaccination for people who work with animals, handle animal products, or are involved in the care of patients with suspected or confirmed monkeypox.
The vaccine is not routinely recommended for travelers going to areas with reported monkeypox outbreaks unless they are participating in activities that increase their risk of exposure. Talk to your doctor about whether you should consider getting vaccinated.
Staying Informed about Monkeypox Outbreaks
Finally, staying informed about monkeypox outbreaks can help you take necessary precautions to avoid contracting the disease. You can check the CDC’s website regularly to get the latest updates on outbreaks, symptoms, treatment, and prevention strategies.
If you plan to travel to countries where monkeypox is endemic, make sure you understand the risks associated with visiting those regions and follow any advice issued by national and local health authorities as well as your embassy or consulate.
Remember, while monkeypox is a rare disease, it can cause severe illness and even death if left untreated. By practicing good hygiene habits, avoiding contact with infected animals, getting vaccinated, and staying informed, you can reduce the risk of infection and protect yourself and others from this dangerous virus.
What to Do If You Think You Have Been Exposed to Monkeypox
Seeking Medical Attention Immediately
If you think you may have been exposed to monkeypox, it is essential that you seek medical attention immediately. The symptoms of monkeypox can be similar to those of other viruses such as chickenpox or smallpox, so it’s crucial that a healthcare professional assess your symptoms and provide treatment options based on their findings.
Monkeypox typically begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash then usually develops, often beginning on the face then spreading to other areas of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab.
“If you feel like you’ve been exposed to monkeypox in any way, shape, or form, please go see your doctor.” -Dr. Amesh Adalja, infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security
Isolating Yourself to Prevent Further Transmission
After seeking medical attention, it’s important that you take steps to prevent further transmission of the virus. This means isolating yourself until you receive more information from healthcare providers and public health officials regarding what actions to take next.
The isolation period for monkeypox virus lasts around 21 days from exposure to the development of symptoms. It’s vital that infected individuals stay isolated during this time to avoid transmitting the virus to others. During the isolation period, anyone who comes into contact with you should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks.
“When someone has monkeypox, during the early phase of illness, they are contagious and precautions need to be taken in order to not infect others.” -Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious diseases specialist
Providing Information to Health Officials for Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is a crucial tool used by public health officials to help prevent the spread of viruses like monkeypox. If you are diagnosed with monkeypox or think you may have been exposed, be sure to provide accurate and detailed information about your recent activities and contacts.
This could include information such as where you’ve been, who you’ve been around, and how long you were in each location. It’s important that this information be as specific as possible to help identify potential exposure risks for those who came into contact with you.
“It’s very important that if someone has symptoms consistent with monkeypox, they seek medical attention right away and let their provider know of any travel or animal exposures that may have occurred recently.” -Dr. Jan Englund, professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Hospital and an expert on contagious diseases
Monitoring Your Symptoms Closely
It’s essential that you monitor your symptoms closely after being exposed to monkeypox. Even if you don’t initially develop signs of illness, keep an eye out for symptoms commonly associated with the virus, including fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes.
If you do develop symptoms, it’s vital that you contact your healthcare provider again immediately. They will work with you to determine the best course of action and help prevent further transmission of the virus.
“The most important thing in public health emergencies is recognition. People need to know what to look for so that they can recognize when something isn’t quite right and seek additional input and guidance from healthcare professionals.” -Jason Henry, PhD, MPH, associate director of emergency management research and assistant professor of health policy and management at the University of Minnesota
Frequently Asked Questions
Can monkeypox be transmitted through a massage?
Monkeypox can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, including sweat, saliva, and blood. If a person with monkeypox receives a massage and has open sores or lesions, there is a risk of transmission to the massage therapist or other clients if proper precautions are not taken.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
The symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. A rash then develops, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before forming a scab, which later falls off.
How is monkeypox diagnosed and treated?
Monkeypox is diagnosed through laboratory tests on samples of blood, skin lesions, or other bodily fluids. There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but supportive care can help manage symptoms and prevent complications. This may include antiviral medications, pain relievers, fluids, and rest.
What precautions should be taken to prevent monkeypox transmission?
To prevent monkeypox transmission, it is important to avoid contact with infected animals and their bodily fluids, including meat and other animal products. People who have been in contact with an infected person should take precautions such as washing their hands frequently, avoiding close contact with others, and wearing protective clothing if necessary.
Is there a vaccine available for monkeypox?
Yes, a vaccine for monkeypox is available. It is recommended for people who are at high risk of exposure, such as healthcare workers and laboratory personnel, as well as for people living in areas where monkeypox outbreaks are common. The vaccine is not recommended for the general public or for people with weakened immune systems.