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Mpox (MPV)
MPV is a rare, but potentially serious, viral illness which belongs to the orthopoxvirus family. Infection typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body.

  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.


Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to-person through:
  • ​direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

Current data shows transmission is higher among people in close sexual networks. However, anyone who has been in 
close contact with a person who has MPV is at risk.

Unlike COVID-19, which spreads easily through the air, the risk of monkeypox to the general public is currently low unless they engage in higher-risk behaviors. Having sex with multiple sex partners can increase a person’s risk of becoming infected when monkeypox is spreading in the community.


How to protect yourself:

  • Consider covering exposed skin in dense, indoor crowds
  • Don’t share bedding or clothing with others when possible
  • Before having close, physical contact with others, talk to your partners about their health and any recent rashes or sores
  • Stay aware if traveling to countries where there are monkeypox outbreaks
  • Talk to your healthcare provider if you were potentially exposed. You may be a candidate for a post-exposure vaccination to prevent the development of the disease

How to protect others:

If you have symptoms particularly a rash consistent with monkeypox (even if you do not think you were in contact with anyone with monkeypox), or if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox:

  • Stay home if you are feeling sick
  • Contact a health care provider as soon as possible for an evaluation
  • Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others, including sexual contact, until a medical evaluation has been completed
  • Inform sex partners about any symptoms you are experiencing
  • Cover the rash with clean, dry, loose-fitting clothing
  • Wear a well-fitted mask
  • If you are contacted by public health officials, answer their confidential questions to help protect others who may have been exposed
While many of the identified cases are within networks of self-identified gay and bisexual men, trans people, and men who have sex with men, people of any sexual orientation or gender identity can become infected and spread monkeypox.


There are vaccines to help prevent monkeypox virus infection. Vaccination within four days of exposure can prevent illness and if given within 14 days of exposure can significantly reduce the severity of illness should the person develop illness.

Who can get vaccinated?

Calhoun County Public Health Department has access to a limited supply of monkeypox vaccine.  To receive the monkeypox vaccine, you must be high risk for contracting the disease. This includes people who:

  •  Have you had a high-risk exposure to someone with MPV (monkeypox) or been to a high-risk event (raves, bath house, etc.)?
  •  Are you or your partner having sex with more than 1 person?
  • Are you taking HIV prevention medicines, or have you ever tested positive for HIV?
Individuals who meet any of the above criteria are prioritized for a monkeypox vaccine based on available vaccine. Please call our office at 269-969-6363 to check your eligibility for vaccination. As more doses become available, vaccine availability may expand further. We will share updates here as we have them.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

If you have symptoms of MPV, contact your health care provider immediately or Calhoun County Public Health Department at 269-969-6990 with questions and concerns.
For after-hours questions please contact the MDHHS Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Disease Section line at 517-335-9030.
Calhoun County Public Health Department phone lines are monitored, Monday - Thursday 7:00a - 4:00p and Friday 8:00a - 12:00p.

CDC Monkeypox
MDHHS Monkeypox