Signs and Symptoms

VDH is updating webpages with the term "mpox"

VDH is updating webpages with the term "mpox" to reduce stigma and other issues associated with prior terminology. This change is aligned with the recent World Health Organization decision.

Signs and Symptom Icon

Know the Mpox Signs and Symptoms

Mpox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. For many people, the illness starts with flu-like symptoms that begin a few days before the rash appears.

Symptoms of Mpox

What are the symptoms of mpox?

Initial symptoms can include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Tiredness
  • Swollen lymph nodes

For some people, a rash may be their only symptom.

Mpox Rash

What does the mpox rash look like?

The rash can look like pimples or blisters. It often begins on the genitals or perianal area, or in and around the mouth. In these situations, the mpox rash could be confused with a more common sexually transmitted infection (STI). The rash might develop on just one part of the body or can appear on many parts of the body. These lesions might be painful.

Rash lesions go through different stages, shown in the photographs below, before healing.

Lesions from mpox virus

Photo credit: UK Health Security Agency

Length of Illness

How long does the illness last?

The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People with certain conditions may be more likely to develop severe illness. These include people with weakened immune systems, children under 8 years of age, people with a history of eczema, and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Last updated: December 1, 2022

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