What is Monkeypox?
The CDC defines Monkeypox as, "a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.” Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. Despite being named "monkeypox,” the source of the disease remains unknown.
People with Monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
- The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
- The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Other symptoms of Monkeypox can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches and backache
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
- Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
- Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
- Others only experience a rash.
- You may experience all or only a few symptoms
How long do monkeypox symptoms last?
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.
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.
Use the links below for important information on Monkeypox signs and symptoms, how it spreads, who is at risk, Monkeypox and pregnancy, available treatment, vaccination and other prevention strategies. There is also a link to local information and resources. Information is available in English and Spanish.