Mpox (previously known as Monkeypox) is a rare disease caused by infection with the mpox virus. Mpox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and mpox is rarely fatal. Mpox is not related to chickenpox. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.. Here are some key facts to know*:
- The mpox virus can spread 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; and pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta. mpox can also spread through direct contact with contaminated material such as clothing and bedding.
- Symptoms of mpox can include: fever; chills; headache; muscle aches and backache; swollen lymph nodes; exhaustion; a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
- Mpox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
- Symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after infection.
- The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
- Because mpox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, vaccines developed to protect against smallpox viruses may be used to prevent mpox infections. The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been in close contact with people who have mpox. Those living in Orange county can register for vaccination appointments on the Florida Department of Health Orange County branch web portal. Appointments must be made online and no walk-ins are being accepted at this time.
- Currently the majority of mpox cases are spread through intimate sexual contact. Check the CDC's Prevention page to learn how you can reduce your risk.
If you are concerned about your risk of becoming infected, or suspect you may have been infected, the CDC has a useful questions and answers page addressing these concerns. If you suspect you have been infected, contact your healthcare provider and avoid close contact (including intimate physical contact) with others until you have been examined.
*This information was obtained from the CDC and WHO websites.