Monkeypox

The Prince William Health District (PWHD), as part of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), is working with other local public health agencies to respond to the current outbreak of monkeypox cases in our community, northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland.

PWHD is:

  1. Offering limited testing and vaccines to prevent further spread of the monkeypox virus to those who are at high risk of getting the infection.
  2. Providing education and guidance to community healthcare providers, cases, and their high risk contacts (most likely to get infected), and monitoring high risk contacts for developing a monkeypox infection (Case Investigation and Contact Tracing).
  3. Sharing educational information and vaccines to community partners who provide services to populations at greatest risk.

PWHD Vaccine Interest Survey

PWHD is working to ensure that residents of Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park who have been exposed or are at high risk of being exposed to monkeypox receive a vaccination. If you are interested in receiving a monkeypox vaccination, please complete our interest survey.

Click this link: PWHD Monkeypox Vaccine Interest Survey

En Español: Encuesta si está interesado/a en recibir la vacuna contra la viruela del mono

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend widespread vaccination for monkeypox at this time. PWHD has received a small amount of vaccine from VDH and will provide more information as additional vaccine supplies become available.


What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare illness that causes a rash with blisters or sores. It is not a new virus like COVID-19. Monkeypox belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox and cowpox. Monkeypox is a milder illness and is not as contagious as smallpox.

Monkeypox is currently a low threat to the general public because person-to-person spread requires close contact with an infected person for long periods of time.


If you have Monkeypox symptoms:

  • Call a healthcare provider to get tested for monkeypox
  • Stay home if you feel sick.

If you were exposed to Monkeypox:

  • Call Prince William Health District at (703) 792-6300 or (703) 792-7300
  • Ask if you are eligible for the Jynneos vaccine that MAY PREVENT you from getting Monkeypox.
Monkeypox Symptoms

The most common monkeypox symptom is a rash with sores or blisters.

The rash looks like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

The rash goes through different stages before healing completely.

  • The rash typically starts as flat red spots then progresses to firm raised bumps then to fluid-filled blisters.
  • The pimples or blisters may be painful.
  • Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.

Other symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

Infected individuals may be contagious from the time that symptoms start (fever/flu-like symptoms or rash) until all skin lesions have formed scabs and fallen off and no other symptoms are present. Symptoms usually last 2-4 weeks.

If you have symptoms:

  • Call a healthcare provider to get tested for monkeypox.
  • Stay home if you feel sick.
  • Separate yourself from other people and pets.
  • Avoid close physical contact with others.
  • Cover your lesions.
How Monkeypox Spreads

Anyone can get and spread monkeypox.

Monkeypox germs spread from person-to-person from skin-to-skin contact, touching sores or blisters, sharing bedding or clothing, or kissing and intimate contact.

Infected individuals may be contagious from the time that symptoms start (fever/flu-like symptoms or rash) until all skin lesions have formed scabs and fallen off and no other symptoms are present. Symptoms usually last 2-4 weeks.

Monkeypox can live on surfaces, but it is easily killed with soap and water. It also requires a significant “dose” of virus on the bed sheets or clothing of an infected person to infect another person.

People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

Monkeypox is currently a low threat to the general public because person-to-person spread requires close contact with an infected person for long periods of time.

Prevention

To prevent monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the monkeypox rash.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of person with monkeypox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a sick person.

Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after contact with sick people.

Cleaning guidance

Guidance for Hospitality Industry

Testing

If you have monkeypox symptoms, get tested by a health care provider.

A healthcare worker will take 2–4 swabs of lesions (pimples or blisters) on different areas of the body and send the samples to a laboratory.

If you test positive for monkeypox:

  • You should isolate at home.
  • If you have an active rash or other symptoms, you should be in a separate room or area from other family members and pets when possible.
  • Your doctor will discuss with you how to recover from this illness.
  • You may receive a call from a contact tracer at Prince William Health District to learn more about your illness and other people who may been exposed to this virus.
Treatment

Most people with monkeypox get better on their own without treatment (CDC, What to Do If You Are Sick). Pain medication like Tylenol or Advil may be needed to treat pain.

There are no treatments approved specifically for monkeypox. The antiviral treatment, tecovirimat (TPOXX) is approved to protect against smallpox and may be used to treat people with severe disease or who may be at high risk of severe disease (e.g., people with weakened immune systems and people with certain skin conditions).

Vaccines

If you were exposed to monkeypox:

  • Call Prince William Health District at (703) 792-6300 or (703) 792-7300
  • Ask if you are eligible for the Jynneos vaccine that MAY PREVENT you from getting monkeypox.

Vaccination with the Jynneos vaccine is recommended for contacts of monkeypox cases and people at high risk of exposure to monkeypox.

You may be eligible for the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine if you are:

A Virginia resident

AND

  • Have a known exposure to someone with monkeypox
  • People who fall into any of the following groups:
    • All people, of any sexual orientation or gender, who have had anonymous or multiple (more than 1) sexual partners in the last 2 weeks
    • Sex workers (of any sexual orientation or gender)
    • Staff (of any sexual orientation or gender) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs)

PWHD Vaccine Interest Survey

PWHD is working to ensure that residents of Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park who have been exposed or are at high risk of being exposed to monkeypox receive a vaccination. If you are interested in receiving a monkeypox vaccination, please complete our interest survey.

Click this link: PWHD Monkeypox Vaccine Interest Survey

En Español: Encuesta si está interesado/a en recibir la vacuna contra la viruela del mono

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend widespread vaccination for monkeypox at this time. PWHD has received a small amount of vaccine from VDH and will provide more information as additional vaccine supplies become available.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Jynneos vaccine for the prevention of monkeypox in high-risk adults 18 years of age and older, and high-risk children ages 17 and younger.

The vaccine is not an effective treatment for those who already have monkeypox. If you have any symptoms that may indicate you have monkeypox, please contact a healthcare provider.

The vaccine should be given within 4 days from the date of exposure for the best chance to prevent disease. If given between 4 and 14 days after the date of exposure, vaccination may reduce the symptoms of disease, but may not prevent the disease.

The monkeypox vaccine requires two doses, four weeks apart. The Jynneos vaccine is given subcutaneously (in the fatty tissue just below the skin) for high-risk children ages 17 and younger. The Jynneos vaccine is given intradermally (just under the top layer of skin) to people who are 18 years old and older (more information Intradermal-MPX-Vaccination.pdf)

A person is not fully protected from monkeypox until two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine.

More Information