Monkeypox Virus Cells

Monkeypox

Monkeypox (MPX) is a rare viral illness caused by an Orthopoxvirus, similar to the virus that causes smallpox, however it is less severe.  Anyone can get MPX, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The most common transmission in the U.S. is through direct contact with individuals infected with monkeypox.

What you need to know about Monkeypox

The Minnesota Department of Health has extensive information about Monkeypox available on its website:  About Monkeypox (MPX) - Minnesota Dept. of Health (state.mn.us)

Symptoms

Monkeypox (MPX) Symptoms

MPX can cause a rash that looks like bumps, sores, or blisters that may be on the genitals, anus, or other parts of the body like the hands, feet, chest, face or mouth. Most people infected with MPX develop a rash. The rash typically takes 2 to 4 weeks to heal completely. Some people experience a rash with other symptoms, while others only have a rash.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Headache
  • Body ache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
Vaccination

Vaccination for Monkeypox (MPX)

Hennepin Healthcare has a limited number of MPX vaccines to give to eligible patients. Under CDC guidelines, we are currently prioritizing vaccination for people at the highest risk for MPX infection, which includes:

  • People who have been exposed to MPX
  • People who are HIV+ and sexually active with more than 1 person
  • Others who are deemed at high risk for exposure

Please call the clinic at 612-873-6963 if you meet the above criteria.

Testing

Testing for Monkeypox (MPX)

If you develop a rash (bumps, sores, or blisters) or are worried that you might have Monkeypox (MPX) or believe you have been exposed to it, we encourage you to contact your primary health care provider. If you don’t have a primary health care provider, you are welcome to call the appointment line at 612-873-6963.

We can only test for MPX if a rash is present. Testing involves a swab of the rash. If positive for MPX, we will help you anonymously notify potential contacts.

Avoid touching the rash; touching the rash can spread it to other parts of the body and may delay healing.

If you have MPX or are waiting for results, please follow CDC isolation and prevention practices.

Harm Reduction

Harm Reduction for Monkeypox (MPX)

Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease. MPX is mostly transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, which includes sex, but can also spread through hugging, kissing, cuddling, etc.

CDC suggestions for safer sex and social gatherings.

Managing Symptoms

Managing Symptoms of Monkeypox (MPX)

MPX symptoms can be very uncomfortable for some people. Some home treatments you can try to help manage symptoms include:

  • Salt baths (Epsom or Domeboro) to help sores heal faster
  • Oatmeal baths, calamine lotion, and Benadryl for itching
  • Advil or Tylenol, gargling saltwater, and topical steroids for pain management
  • Stool softeners and sitz baths for anal pain and constipation