What is Mpox?
Mpox (formerly known as Monkeypox) is a rare disease caused by infection with the mpox virus which belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus which includes smallpox causing variola virus.
What are the symptoms?
Mpox causes fever, headache, muscle aches and backaches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, a rash that can look like pimples or blisters on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
How does it spread?
The virus can spread from person-to-person through:
Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids.
- Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.
- Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
- The virus can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
- People who do not have Mpox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.
How can you lower your risk?
Avoid clubs, parties, saunas and other places where skin-to-skin or face-to-face contact takes place.
Is there a treatment or vaccine for Mpox?
Most patients have mild illness and require no treatment. Primarily the treatment, when needed, is supportive but there is an antiviral called Tecovirimat, that treats Mpox.
There are 2 vaccines against Mpox: ACAM2000 and Jynneos. More information about Mpox vaccination can be found here: CDC Mpox Vaccination Basics.
If you or your partner have Mpox:
See your healthcare provider or a public health clinic near you.
Follow treatment and prevention recommendations of your healthcare provider.
Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until your sores have healed and you have a fresh layer of skin formed. More information about what to do if you are sick can be found at: CDC What To Do If You Are Sick With Mpox.