The monkeypox virus causes painful sores. It is spread mostly through skin-to-skin contact. Vaccines are available.
If you think you have been exposed to monkeypox, visit a sexual health clinic for screening. Ask about eligibility for vaccination.
Monkeypox is a virus that is a close cousin of smallpox that causes open sores or lesions. It is passed through close personal contact, including kissing and sex, and contaminated objects, like towels or bed sheets. Someone is considered infectious until the sores have completely healed over, scabs fall off and new skin appears underneath.
The symptoms of monkeypox may include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes as well as a rash that evolves into open sores or lesions. It may be possible to transmit monkeypox before visible symptoms appear. Because many cases are sexually transmitted, lesions are often on the penis, around or inside the anus as well as in or around the mouth. Lesions may be hard to see. If you think you may been exposed to monkeypox, or have a new rash or sores, visit a sexual health clinic to get screened. Free or sliding scale care is often available.
Events where attendees are fully clothed and unlikely to share skin-to-skin contact are safer. However, be mindful of activities (like kissing) that might spread monkeypox. A rave, party, or club where there is minimal clothing and where there is direct, personal contact has some risk. Enclosed spaces where intimate sexual contact occurs have a higher likelihood of spreading monkeypox.
Think you may have been exposed to monkeypox? Find a health clinic near you.
Get screened by a medical professional. Care at these clinics is often FREE or provided on a sliding scale. You can also get information about vaccination.