Mpox (monkeypox) is a rare pox virus (rash, bumps, pimples on skin) that is spread through close, often skin-to-skin contact. Mpox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder. It is rarely fatal. It is not a sexually transmitted disease, and it is not related to chickenpox or herpes.
If you have any symptoms of mpox, talk to your health care provider about getting tested, even if you don't think you've been close to someone who has mpox.
Dakota County Public Health has a limited supply of mpox/Jynneos vaccine. To see if you qualify for the vaccine, call 952-891-7999.
Signs and symptoms
Mpox symptoms develop about 1–3 weeks after a person has been exposed, but may be as early as five days.
People with mpox often get a rash, pimples or blisters that may be located on or near the genitals and could be on other areas, like the hands, feet, chest, face or mouth. The rash may be painful or itchy and is often accompanied by feelings of discomfort, like fever, chills and aches.To learn more about mpox signs and symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Infection and staying home
People who are infected should isolate at home until the rash heals (typically 2–4 weeks). The rash will go through several stages, including bumps, sores, blisters or scabs.
A person with mpox can spread it from the time symptoms develop until the rash heals and a fresh layer of healthy skin has formed. Most people do not get seriously ill from mpox, but they will need to stay home until they are no longer infectious.
How it spreads
Mpox can spread to anyone through close, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
- Direct contact with mpox rash, scabs or body fluids from a person with mpox.
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with mpox.
High-risk activities include:
- Having sex with a person who has mpox.
- Hugging, massaging and kissing a person who has mpox.
To learn more on how mpox spreads, including to pets, visit the CDC's website.
You can take steps to lowering your risk of getting mpox and can be vaccinated if you've been exposed or you're at higher risk of being exposed. Prevention steps include:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash or bumps that looks like mpox.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person infected with mpox has used, including utensils, cups, bedding, towels and clothing.
- Wash your hands often.
To learn more about mpox prevention steps, visit the CDC's website.
You can be tested for mpox. If you think you have mpox, talk to your health care provider or get tested at one of the area's free or low-cost testing sites:
Red Door Clinic / Hennepin County Public Health
Clinic 555 / Ramsey County Public Health
- 525 Portland Ave. South, Minneapolis
- 555 Cedar Street, St. Paul
Directory of Family Planning Services
Minnesota Family Planning and STD Hotline
- Listing of publicly funded programs throughout Minnesota.
- Toll-free hotline for confidential information about the prevention, testing locations and treatment of STDs in Minnesota: 1-800-78-FACTS.
Dakota County Public Health has a limited supply of the Mpox/Jynneos vaccine. Consistent with MDH guidelines, Dakota County is using a screening process and prioritizing vaccination for people at highest risk for mpox. To see if you qualify, call 952-891-7999.
For additional information on monkeypox, visit the Minnesota Department of Health or CDC websites.