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What is Mpox?

Mpox is a disease caused by infection with the mpox virus. Mpox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Mpox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and mpox is rarely fatal. Mpox is not related to chickenpox.

Symptoms

People with mpox often get a rash that may be located on hands, feet, chest, face, mouth or near the genitals. The incubation period, or the number of days between when you're infected with something and when you might see symptoms, is 3-17 days. During this time, a person may feel fine and will not know that they have mpox.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.

  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms of mpox can include:

  • Fever 

  • Chills 

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Exhaustion 

  • Muscle aches and backache 

  • Headache 

  • Respiratory symptoms (E.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

You may experience all or only a few symptoms:

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.

  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.

  • Others may only experience a rash.

An individual with mpox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

If You Have a New or Unexplained Rash or Other Symptoms... 

  • Avoid close contact, including sex or being intimate with anyone, until you have been checked out by a healthcare provider. 

  • If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, contact PFY for case management services.

  • When you see a healthcare provider, wear a mask, and be sure to inform them of your symptoms iadvance.

Mpox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms and has mpox, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

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