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What You Need to Know About Monkeypox

Monkeypox (MPX) is not like COVID-19, and it is much less contagious. The current risk of getting monkeypox is very low for the general public, but it's still good for everyone to know the facts about the symptoms, prevention and what to do if you get sick.  

MVisual examples of monkeypox rashonkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.  While not everyone needs a vaccine, vaccines and treatments are already available across the state. Most patients experience mild illness and require no treatment. Monkeypox 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. 

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Let's Talk About Monkeypox Webinar

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What You Should Do

If you think you have developed monkeypox (if you have symptoms), please talk to your healthcare provider or contact 877-PA-HEALTH. Providers can help ensure you are tested if appropriate, and if necessary, receive treatment for monkeypox. 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 monkeypox, you may need to receive the vaccine, although not everyone will need a monkeypox vaccine.

How to Get a Monkeypox Vaccine in Pennsylvania

If you think you have been exposed, or if you have participated in activities that may have put you at risk of exposure, please contact your healthcare provider, your local health department, or 877-PA-HEALTH to help you evaluate your risk and tell you where to get a monkeypox vaccine in Pennsylvania. You can also find more information about monkeypox vaccines and providers from the CDC.

What the Department is Doing

Earlier this year, the Department of Health sprang into action to address monkeypox through the collaborative efforts of many departmental bureaus including communicable diseases, laboratories, emergency preparedness and response, epidemiology and community health systems. 

The Department of Health has 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 monkeypox diagnosis. Healthcare providers have also been instructed how to collect specimens necessary to get lab testing done quickly and how to access the vaccine supply from anywhere in the state. 

The Department of Health is receiving a limited supply of vaccine from the Federal Strategic National Stockpile. These vaccines are being made available to public health departments and clinics that are seeing high volumes of individuals who may be at high risk for monkeypox.