Mpox (formerly known as Monkeypox) is a rare disease caused by an infection of the mpox virus. Its symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder and rarely fatal.
The following are ways that it can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed:
- Direct contact with the rash, scabs, or body fluids of someone who is infected.
- Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact such as kissing or cuddling.
- Handling clothing, towels, or linens that were previously used by an infected person.
The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
People who do not have mpox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.
Fulton County Board of Health is following all CDC recommendations and guidelines regarding the mpox vaccine. Since supply is currently limited, vaccines are being prioritized by the following groups who are at high risk for infection:
- Those who are in close personal contact of someone with mpox.
- Individuals who may have been exposed.
- People who have an increased risk of being exposed to the virus such as lab workers.
Individuals are urged to speak with their healthcare provider if they are in one of these groups.
Individuals at risk for Mpox can schedule a vaccine through the GDPH online vaccine scheduler. For assistance call the Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line at 888.457.0186.
Anyone with a rash that looks like mpox (see examples) should talk to their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they had contact with anyone who is infected.
A person who has symptoms of mpox should isolate at home. If they have an active outbreak or other flu-like symptoms, they should be in a separate room or area away from other family members and pets when possible.
Everyone should take the following steps for prevention and protection:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
And if you’re in close contact or living with someone with mpox:
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of that person.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have close personal contact.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups.
- Do not handle or touch their bedding, towels, or clothing.
The CDC has published recommendations for reducing the chance of exposure to mpox during sexual and intimate social encounters, available here.
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Treatment for Mpox
Tecovirimat (also known as TPOXX or ST-246) is FDA-approved for the treatment of human smallpox disease caused by Variola virus in adults and children.
Patients should discuss with their healthcare provider before receiving TPOXX.
TPOXX (tecovirimat) may be considered for treatment in people infected with Mpox virus:
- With severe Mpox disease (e.g., severe bleeding, lesions that overlap/run together, sepsis, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or other conditions requiring hospitalization)
- Who are at high risk of severe disease:
- People with immunocompromising conditions
- Children, particularly those younger than 8 years of age
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- People with a history (even years prior) or current presence of atopic dermatitis (eczema) or other conditions that cause active inflammation of the skin
- People with one or more medical complication(s)
- With atypical infections involving infection of the eyes, mouth, genitals, anus, or other especially sensitive areas of the body
For information about TPOXX, visit the CDC’s website.