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Mpox (Monkeypox)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is mpox?

Mpox, also called monkeypox, is a disease caused by a virus. It was first found in laboratory monkeys. Mpox is a common animal disease of rodents, such as mice and squirrels, in the Central and West African rainforests. The public health department needs to be informed of an mpox infection. It is a public health concern because the virus spreads quickly.

Mpox (Monkeypox)

How is the mpox virus spread to humans?

The virus can enter through a cut in your skin, or through mucus membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). You can also breathe it in. An infected mother can pass the virus to her unborn baby. Any of the following can increase your risk for mpox:

What are the signs and symptoms of mpox?

Signs and symptoms usually start 7 to 14 days after infection, but it may take up to 21 days. Fever is usually the first sign. A rash then develops on the middle of the body 2 to 3 days later. The rash later spreads to the arms, legs, and head. The rash may start as a blister or raised bump filled with pus that later gets crusty, scabs over, and falls off. You may also have any of the following:

How is mpox diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. Tell your provider if you had any recent animal bites. Tell your provider if you have recently cared for or visited a person who has mpox. You may also need any of the following:

How is mpox treated?

Medicines may be given to treat symptoms such as fever, pain, or coughing. A vaccine may be given to help your body fight the mpox virus. You may need immune globulins or antiviral medicines if your symptoms are severe.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What can I do to manage my symptoms?

What can I do to prevent the spread of the mpox virus?

Your healthcare provider will report your mpox infection to the public health department. Do the following until your provider says that you can no longer spread the virus to others:

How do I safely care for someone who has mpox?

What should I do if I think my pet has mpox?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone call if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.