What is Mpox?
Mpox (monkeypox) is a rare infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Mpox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but usually milder. Although this is rare, mpox can be severe and life-threatening for some.
Mpox is not related to chickenpox.
What can you do if you think you have mpox?
If you think you may have mpox or have come into contact with someone who has mpox, it’s important to reach out to your Primary Care Provider (PCP) as soon as possible. They will explain the next best steps for your care and testing.
You can also call the 24/7 GHC NurseConnect line at (608) 661-7350 or toll-free at (855) 661-7350 to get advice if you can’t reach your PCP.
Public Health Madison and Dane County is asking Dane County residents that believe they may have been exposed to call the mpox hotline at (608) 266-4821. If you live outside of Dane County, you should reach out to your local health department.
What You Need to Know About Mpox
Mpox spreads in different ways. The virus 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 (like clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.
- Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
- It’s also possible for people to get mpox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
Symptoms of mpox can include…
- Muscle fatigue
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears 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. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms, and others may only experience a rash.
The illness typically lasts two-four weeks.
Here are some easy steps to preventing the spread of mpox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people with 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 utensils or cups with a person with mpox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with mpox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.