Mpox

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

If you have mpox symptoms:

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

If you are at HIGH RISK of exposure to mpox or have been exposed:

  • 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 mpox.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Know What to Look Out For

Rash

Images of rash that looks like pimples or blisters on a hand, wrist, thumb and back.

The most common mpox symptom is a rash that can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy. It might develop on one part of the body or on many parts of the body. 

Other possible symptoms:

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

The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. 

People with certain conditions may be more likely to develop severe illness. 

How Mpox Spreads

What You Need to Know

Anyone can get and spread mpox.

Mpox germs spread by:

  • From person-to-person from skin-to-skin contact
  • Touching sores or blisters
  • Sharing bedding or clothing
  • 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. This can take 2-4 weeks.

Prevention

Reduce the Spread of Mpox
  • Avoid close skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact, with people who are sick or have a rash. 
  • Avoid sharing personal items. 
    • Clean and disinfect personal items before other use them.
  • Stay home and contact your doctor if you have symptoms.
  • Get vaccinated if you are exposed to mpox or are eligible. 

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

Visit CDC's Mpox Prevention page to learn more. 

Get Vaccinated

JYNNEOS Vaccine Eligibility

The JYNNEOS mpox vaccine is recommended for individuals who have been exposed, or are at high risk of exposure, to the mpox virus.

You may be eligible for the JYNNEOS vaccine if you:

  • You had known or suspected exposure to someone with mpox
  • You had a sex partner in the past 2 weeks who was diagnosed with mpox
  • You are a gay, bisexual, or other man who has sex with men or a transgender, nonbinary, or gender-diverse person who in the past 6 months has had any of the following:
    • A new diagnosis of one or more sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis)
    • More than one sex partner
  • You have had any of the following in the past 6 months:
    • Sex at a commercial sex venue (like a sex club or bathhouse)
    • Sex related to a large commercial event or in a geographic area (city or county for example) where mpox virus transmission is occurring
    • Sex in exchange for money or other items
  • You have a sex partner with any of the above risks
  • You anticipate experiencing any of the above scenarios
  • You have HIV or other causes of immune suppression and have had recent or anticipate future risk of mpox exposure from any of the above scenarios
  • You work in settings where you may be exposed to mpox:
    • You work with orthopoxviruses in a laboratory

VDH has adopted CDC mpox vaccination recommendations.

The best protection against mpox occurs 2 weeks after the second shot of the JYNNEOS vaccine.

Remember it is never too late to get the second dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine even if someone received their first dose months prior. 

Testing and Treatment Information

More information is available at the Virginia Department of Health and CDC.

Webpage last updated: 12/19/2023