The World Health Organization has renamed monkeypox as mpox, to comply with the updated naming guidelines. Both names will be used for a year, and mpox will still be searchable by the monkeypox name. For more information go to: World Health Organization Mpox Update
Mpox 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 mpox. For more information see: Maryland Dept of Health Mpox Fact Sheet
HHS Public Health Emergency Declaration Information
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of mpox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- A rash that can look 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
- Swollen lymph nodes
The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
For more information see CDC Mpox Signs and Symptoms
Mpox can spread from person-to-person through:
- direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
- respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex
- touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
- pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
Mpox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People who do not have mpox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.
For more information see CDC Mpox Transmission Guidance
Take the following steps to prevent getting mpox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with mpox
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with mpox
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with mpox
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, clothing of a person with mpox
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
For more information see CDC Mpox Prevention Guidance
Testing and Treatment
At this time, the risk the general public appear to be low (MD Dept of Health). Individuals who believe they were exposed to mpox or have an illness that could be mpox should contact their healthcare provider. People without a provider or healthcare insurance should visit health.maryland.gov/CSTIP/local
Vaccination is not treatment. If you have mpox and your symptoms resolve, you should speak to your healthcare provider to determine your eligibility for future vaccination.
The County Health Department, Maryland Department of Health and the CDC are currently administrating the vaccine to the following individuals:
- patients who have been identified as close contacts to laboratory-confirmed mpox cases through contact tracing investigations
- presumed contacts that know their sex partners were diagnosed in the past 14 days or have had multiple sex partners in the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known mpox cases
How to get vaccinated: If you meet the above eligibility criteria, go to Prince George's County Dept. of Health Monkeypox and scroll to the bottom to preregister for an appointment.