Get Ready For the Monkeypox Questionnaire if You're Trying to Go to The Doctor

Monkeypox raises even more questions.
Monkeypox raises even more questions. Photo by Jinterwas/Creative Commons

Most of us are used to the questions about COVID-19 when making a doctor's appointment. Have you had it, been exposed, been around someone, had any of these symptoms including cough and fatigue. The replies for most of us are a drumbeat of "nos."

But now, as medical professionals around the country are taking monkeypox much more seriously, expect a whole new addendum to the questions you'll be asked.

A call for an ENT appointment in the Methodist Hospital System Wednesday took an extra long time when having negotiated the COVID questions, I found out I wasn't done.

In short order I was asked: Have you had monkeypox, have you been exposed to Monkeypox, been around anyone with Monkeypox, had any of these symptoms — a rash that looks like pimples or blisters and can spread to all areas of the body, swollen lymph nodes, feel like you have the flu, intense headache, exhaustion, been around any dead animals, been to Africa?

It's good that this latest virus is being taken seriously because there have been cases in the Houston area, but just be prepared to spend more time being vetted ahead of time on the phone or at your doctor's check-in desk.

And while it appears it's somewhat difficult to get monkeypox, it's not impossible. For most people the unpleasant symptoms will go away on their own, but newborns, children and those with immune deficiencies may face more serious consequences. There is a vaccine but it's not in abundant supply — something New York City has been struggling with.
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing