Conn. (WTNH) — As doctors keep their eye out for symptoms of monkeypox, there are a lot of questions, like whether it’s necessary to go to the emergency room if symptoms are present, or what the isolation period looks like.
The state with the largest numbers is right next door in New York, so the situation there is being watched closely in Connecticut. While monkeypox is detected most in men who have sex with men, there are concerns about the unknowns of pregnant women contracting it.
“Monkeypox is a more difficult virus to transmit than something like COVID-19,” Dr. Arjun Venkatesh, chief of emergency medicine administration at Yale Medicine said. “You really have to have a prolonged exposure to somebody and very close contact with that person.”
Still, monkeypox is spreading. There are almost 9,500 cases in the U.S., with the most in New York, tallying just over 2,000. At this time, Connecticut has 49 cases, which experts suspect are low.
“When patients come to the emergency department, this is remarkably challenging,” Dr. Venkatesh said. “As you know, our emergency departments and hospitals around the state are very crowded and at overcapacity.”
Instead, he encourages people to instead call their doctor or health department first. If tests are positive, the monkeypox isolation period is much longer than covid.
“The current CDC recommendation, I believe, is for almost three weeks,” Dr. Venkatesh said. “And until you have sort of all your, the actual rash of monkeypox is totally crusted over, it is no longer infectious.”
The CDC said that it’s still unknown how monkeypox affects children, people with underlying conditions, or pregnant women. According to the CDC website, there is little pregnancy data, but it does show that monkeypox virus can be transmitted to the fetus during pregnany.
If a pregnant woman gives birth with monkeypox, her newborn will need to be isolated to avoid further close contact with the mother, according to the chair of obstetrics at Mount Sinai Health System.
The very limited information on monkeypox in pregnancy is limited to case reports of just five lab confirmed cases. Three of those five cases resulted in pregnancy loss, according to the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.