Monkeypox is a viral disease genetically related to Smallpox but not as dangerous or transmissible. It is not a sexually transmitted disease, but since it often requires a high degree of physical contact for transmission, it is frequently correlated to sexual activity. While the current outbreak is disproportionately effecting populations of men who have sex with men, anybody can get Monkeypox, and everyone should be weary of contracting it. Monkeypox should not be considered life-threatening, and treatment does exist, but those infected experience blisters and rash which can be both incredibly painful and leave permanent scars. The full range of symptoms can be found at cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox.
If you think you have Monkeypox avoid physical contact, wear a face mask, and reach out to a healthcare provider to get tested. The Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Clinic located at 200 Maine Street in Lawrence can provide Monkeypox testing, but you must call in advance to schedule an appointment.