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What You Need to Know About Mpox

visual examples of mpox rash

Mpox (formerly monkeypox) is caused by a virus related to the virus that causes smallpox.

In 2022, a global outbreak of Mpox occurred. In Pennsylvania cases of Mpox have declined since peaking in August 2022, but the outbreak is not over. Given the current decline in cases, the risk of getting Mpox is low, however, there are some precautions that we need to take to keep the case counts low. It's a good idea for everyone to know about Mpox including the facts about the symptoms, prevention and what to do if you get sick. 

Mpox symptoms often begin with a rash but sometimes people have flu-like symptoms before the rash appears.  While not everyone needs a vaccine, vaccines and treatments are available across the state. Most patients who experience mild illness require no treatment, and patients can recover from Mpox at home. Mpox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. For more prevention tips, symptom details, or provider info see the drop-down categories below:


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What You Should Do

Having or being exposed to Mpox is nothing to be ashamed of. See a medical provider for testing if you have a rash or other signs of being sick.  If you don't have a medical provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you or contact 877-PA-HEALTH. Providers can help ensure you are tested if appropriate and, if necessary, receive treatment for Mpox. If you test positive, you will need to isolate (avoid contact with others) until the rash heals.

If you have been exposed to someone who has Mpox, you may need to receive the vaccine, although not everyone will need a Mpox vaccine. Mpox can have a more significant impact on people with HIV.

Mpox Vaccination Basics

Getting fully vaccinated for Mpox means you are helping to prevent Mpox in the future. JYNNEOS is a 2-dose vaccine developed to protect against Mpox and smallpox infections. People need to get both doses of the vaccine for the best protection against Mpox. The second dose should be given four weeks after the first dose. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose.

Vaccination is an essential tool in stopping the spread of Mpox. People who are vaccinated should continue to avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has Mpox.

How to Get a Mpox Vaccine in Pennsylvania

If you think you have been exposed or participated in activities that may have put you at risk of exposure, please get in touch with your healthcare provider, your local health department, or 877-PA-HEALTH to help you evaluate your risk. You can also use the Mpox vaccine locator below to find vaccines near you and more information about Mpox vaccines and providers from the CDC.

There is no need to give out personal information to receive a vaccine.

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What the Department is Doing

The Department of Health is committed to health equity, which means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve their highest level of health. Therefore, we have provided multiple updates to healthcare providers across the commonwealth to help them understand the virus and be vigilant in assessing individuals with symptoms that might be consistent with a Mpox diagnosis. Healthcare providers have also been instructed on collecting specimens necessary to get lab testing done quickly and accessing the vaccine supply from anywhere in the state.