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Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus in the Orthopoxvirus genus which also includes variola virus (smallpox), vaccinia virus (used for smallpox vaccine) and cowpox (CDC, 2021). The CDC and the World Health Organization are currently tracking cases in countries that don't normally report Monkeypox. For more information see: Maryland Dept of Health Monkeypox Fact Sheet

Signs and Symptoms 

The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for Monkeypox is usually 7 - 14 days but can range from 5 - 21 days. Symptoms start with fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. Within 1 - 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the person develops a rash (including lesions), often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. The illness typically lasts for 2 - 4 weeks. For more information see CDC Monkeypox Signs and Symptoms


Monkeypox virus spreads through contact with an infected animal, person, or materials. Monkeypox spreads primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids. It can also spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact (i.e., intimate contact such as kissing, cuddling, etc.…). For more information see CDC Monkeypox Transmission Guidance

Prevention/ Treatment

Prevention actions are similar to other diseases and include avoiding contact with sick persons and materials they may have been in contact with (bedding, toys, clothing, etc.). Isolate infected persons from others and practice good hygiene after coming in contact with sick person or their materials (washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based sanitizer). For more information see CDC Monkeypox Prevention Guidance

Treatment of Monkeypox will be determined by each individual person and what their primary care doctor or hospital deems appropriate. For more information on current treatments see CDC Monkeypox Treatment Guidance