Mpox (formerly Monkeypox)

Is this your symptom?

  • Pimples or blister(s) on the genitals or anus, face, inside mouth, palms, soles, or chest
  • May have started with flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, aches)
  • Can infect anyone, but gay or bisexual men are at highest risk. Infections in women and children are rare.

Background

Mpox (formerly called Monkeypox) was first discovered in 1958 in a group of research monkeys. The first human case was reported in 1970 in Africa. The smallpox vaccine could prevent mpox infection. But it has not been given to humans since the 1970’s, so much of the population is unprotected.

Symptoms evolve over time.

  • After exposure there is a period of 1-2 weeks where you might get the early symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches and tiredness. Then lymph node swelling begins, which could be anywhere on the body but more likely in the armpit or neck.
  • After this earlier phase, the rash appears. There may be just one blister or clusters of many blisters. They can occur on any part of the body. But the blisters are mostly being found in the anus or on the genitals in gay or bisexual men.
  • These skin lesions go through stages starting as red and flat, then raising up, blister(s) form, then the blister fluid looks white/yellow inside, then scabbing and healing.

How it is Spread

  • Mpox virus can spread from:
    • person to person contact, such as direct contact with the blisters or scabs
    • contact with infected body fluids that might be on bedding, towels or clothing
    • respiratory droplets (from breathing) during close contact like kissing, cuddling or sex
    • a scratch or bite from an animal with the mpox virus (rare)
    • eating the meat of an infected animal (very rare)
  • Pregnant women can spread the virus to their unborn baby.
  • Experts are not certain whether the virus is spread in semen or vaginal fluids.

Other Mpox Facts

  • Incubation Period. Symptoms of the virus start between 6-13 days after an exposure.
  • Prevention/Vaccine. There are two FDA approved vaccines (JYNNEOS and ACAM2000) being used to help prevent mpox. The vaccines can help decrease the severity of the symptoms, especially in high-risk people. Experts are gathering data on how effective the vaccines will be for this current outbreak.
  • Treatment. There are no effective treatments for mpox at this time. Antivirals are being used for those at greatest risk of severe disease, such as those with weak immune systems.

When to Call for Mpox (formerly Monkeypox)

Call 911 Now

  • Not moving or too weak to stand
  • Not alert when awake or "out of it"
  • You think you have a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Very painful sore in the anus
  • Dehydration suspected. No urine in more than 8 hours, dark urine, very dry mouth.
  • You have been exposed to someone with mpox and you have a weak immune system. Examples are sickle cell disease, HIV, cancer, organ transplant, taking oral steroids, diabetes, kidney problems.
  • You feel weak or very sick

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • You have had contact with someone in a high-risk group for mpox (men who have sex with men) and have the following symptoms:
    • Fever, chills, headache, muscle aches
    • Large lymph nodes
    • New blister or group of blisters filled with white fluid. These may be around the anus or genitals, mouth, hands, bottom of your feet, or chest. The blisters are often painful.
    • The blisters may appear as scabs.
  • You have had close contact with skin, body fluids, bedding, towels or clothes of someone that has been diagnosed with mpox
  • You think you have mpox

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • New blister or group of blisters and you are not sure where they came from. No fever or flu-like symptoms.
  • You are worried you might have mpox
  • You have other questions or concerns

Care Advice

  1. What You Should Know:
    • Mpox (formerly called monkeypox) was previously a rare infection from a virus. It is similar to smallpox, but much milder.
    • Mpox is spreading worldwide. Spread is mainly through close skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
    • Right now, 98% of the cases occur in men who identify as gay or bisexual. 41% are HIV positive.
    • Anyone can get this infection, so it is likely to spread to other groups.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. How Is It Spread?
    • Mpox virus can spread from:
      • person to person contact, such as direct contact with the blisters or scabs
      • contact with infected body fluids that might be on bedding, towels or clothing
      • respiratory droplets (from breathing) during close contact like kissing, cuddling or sex
      • a scratch or bite from an animal with the mpox virus (rare)
      • eating the meat of an infected animal (very rare)
    • Pregnant women can spread the virus to their unborn baby.
    • Experts are not certain whether the virus is spread in semen or vaginal fluids.
  3. How Long Does It Take For Symptoms to Appear Once a Person Is Exposed?
    • Symptoms start between 6-13 days after an exposure.
    • If you think you may have been exposed to mpox, get the vaccine right away (early in the incubation period). Check with your doctor and/or state or local health department to find a vaccine.
  4. Testing:
    • There is a test for mpox. It is a swab test of a blister or body fluids.
    • You should not have skin-to-skin contact with anyone until you get your test results.
  5. Treatment:
    • There are no effective treatments for mpox at this time.
    • Check with your doctor and/or state or local health department to find a vaccine.
    • Since it is similar to smallpox, there may be antiviral medicines available soon to prevent or treat this infection.
    • Antivirals are being used for those at greatest risk of severe disease, such as those with weak immune systems.
    • For pain and/or fever symptoms, use acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  6. How Long Does It Last?
    • Infection can last for up to 4 weeks.
    • You can spread the virus to others during this period.
  7. Prevention:
    • There are two FDA-approved vaccines (JYNNEOS and ACAM2000) being used to help prevent mpox. The vaccines can help decrease the severity of the symptoms, especially in high-risk people.
    • Experts are gathering data on how effective the vaccines will be for this current outbreak.
    • It takes about two weeks after getting a vaccine to develop protective antibodies.
    • It is important to get a vaccine after a known exposure and before symptoms. It is best to get one of the vaccines within 4 days of exposure to have the best chance of reducing the symptoms. Check with your doctor and/or state or local health department to find a vaccine.
  8. How Can I Protect Others from Getting It?

    If you have been exposed or have the disease:

    • Avoid close contact with people for 4 weeks
    • Avoid sharing bedding, towels, and clothing for up to 4 weeks
    • Wash your hands often
    • Stay in a separate room or area from others, when possible
  9. Call Your Doctor If:
    • You have very painful blisters
    • You start feeling confused or 'out of it'
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.


Last Reviewed: 10/11/2023 1:00:48 AM
Last Updated: 4/13/2023 1:00:43 AM

Copyright 2000-2023. Schmitt Decision Logic LLC and Self Care Decisions, LLC.

<strong>Monkeypox Pimple</strong> <p>People with Monkeypox get a rash. It can first look like pimples or blisters and may be painful. The rash may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, back, face, or mouth.</p>
Monkeypox Pimple

People with Monkeypox get a rash. It can first look like pimples or blisters and may be painful. The rash may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, back, face, or mouth.

<strong>Monkeypox Rash</strong> <p>People with Monkeypox get a rash. It could look like the rash in this picture, which is on a man's back. The rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, back, face, or mouth.</p>
Monkeypox Rash

People with Monkeypox get a rash. It could look like the rash in this picture, which is on a man's back. The rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, back, face, or mouth.

<strong>Monkeypox Blister</strong> <p>People with Monkeypox get a rash. It can first look like pimples or blisters and may be painful. The rash may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, back, face, or mouth.</p>
Monkeypox Blister

People with Monkeypox get a rash. It can first look like pimples or blisters and may be painful. The rash may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, back, face, or mouth.

<strong>Monkeypox Scab</strong> <p>The Monkeypox rash will go through several stages, including scabs like this one, before healing. The rash and scabs may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, back, face, or mouth.</p>
Monkeypox Scab

The Monkeypox rash will go through several stages, including scabs like this one, before healing. The rash and scabs may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, back, face, or mouth.


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