Swollen lymph nodes can be a symptom of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox. A person with mpox may also have a rash and other flu-like symptoms. However, many other infections also cause swollen lymph nodes.
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This article discusses the relationship between swollen lymph nodes and mpox, including its location, other symptoms, and how long it takes to develop. It also explains what to do if someone suspects they have mpox.
Yes, swollen lymph nodes are a common symptom of mpox.
The lymph nodes swell in most people before the mpox rash appears. When a person experiences swollen lymph nodes and other flu-like symptoms, the rash usually develops
However, MPox symptoms don’t always manifest this way.
Swollen lymph nodes are also one
Lymph nodes are small glands. When a person has an infection, they may swell. The knots may feel noticeably large, firm, or soft. In some cases, it is possible to see the swollen lymph nodes under the skin.
- near the genitals, including the:
Other symptoms of mpox may resemble a cold or flu and may include:
A virus causes mpox and viruses have an incubation period. This is the time that elapses between contracting a virus and developing symptoms.
For mpox, the incubation period typically ranges from
A result is the
However, many other infectious diseases can also cause rashes and swollen lymph nodes. The only way to be sure is to talk to a doctor.
- to kiss
- vaginal, oral or anal sex
- prolonged face-to-face contact
Transmission can also happen through close contact with an animal that has mpox. For these reasons, people who have had contact with a person or animal with confirmed mpox can contract the infection themselves.
Whenever possible, people who are concerned about mpox should not attempt to self-diagnose. Instead, experts advise the following:
Speak to a doctor
People who do not have health insurance can contact their local health authority to find out how to access care in their area.
Before a person visits a healthcare facility, they should call ahead to let staff know they may have mpox. If the staff recommends an in-person visit, the person can cover all areas of the rash with clothing or bandages and wear a face mask.
People can also contact a doctor if they have been in contact with a human or animal with mpox, even if they have no symptoms.
A doctor may be able to offer a person the mpox vaccine, which can reduce the severity of symptoms or prevent them completely.
Ideally, a person should receive the mpox vaccine
If a person has mpox symptoms, the next step may be testing for the disease. A doctor may recommend testing to see if a person has a rash that resembles mpox.
People do not have to order mpox tests themselves. A medical professional will arrange testing.
The mpox test involves swabbing the rash and sending the swab to a lab. The lab can determine if the mpox virus is present.
If the test is positive, people should take steps to prevent mpox transmission while recovering at home. This
- Covering the rash: Keep the rash covered with clothing or bandages and avoid scratching it. Do not pop the blisters. Popping them will not help them heal and may spread the infection. Avoid shaving the area until the scabs have fallen off and the skin has completely healed.
- Isolate from others: Avoid close contact with other people. Do not share personal items such as bedding, clothes or towels. If avoiding contact is not possible, wear a well-fitting face mask.
- wash hands often: Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash hands, especially before and after touching the rash or things touched with it. Also, wash hands before using shared areas of the house, such as the kitchen or bathroom. If the rash is on the hands themselves, wear disposable gloves in these areas.
Let your close contacts know
People should let close contacts know if they have mpox
Being aware of possible exposure to mpox allows people to watch for symptoms, isolate, get tested, and get vaccinated.
There is no specific treatment for mpox. However, most people get better on their own
People can also relieve symptoms by:
- taking over-the-counter pain relievers
- the use of topical analgesic gels
- try antihistamines or calamine lotion to reduce itching
- bathing in warm water with colloidal oatmeal
- try a sitz bath for rashes around the genitals
- rinse the mouth with salt water or medicated mouthwash, if the rash is in the mouth
For more severe symptoms, a doctor may recommend smallpox medication or vaccination. The viruses that cause mpox and smallpox are very similar, so sometimes using smallpox treatments can help.
If someone has a weakened immune system, is seriously ill or is likely to become seriously ill from treatment with mpox
Mpox can cause complications from the rash, such as skin discoloration or scarring.
Swollen lymph nodes may suggest mpox if a person also has a rash and flu-like symptoms. The symptoms of mpox can develop
Any person with a new or unexplained rash or other possible symptoms of mpox should speak with a doctor. Most people recover from mpox without treatment, but doctors may recommend a person get vaccinated to reduce the severity of symptoms.