Mpox, formerly known as Monkeypox, is a rare viral illness caused by an Orthopoxvirus, similar to the virus that causes smallpox, however, it is less severe. Anyone can get Mpox, 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 Mpox
Mpox 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 Mpox 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
- Body ache
- Swollen lymph nodes
Vaccination for Mpox
Hennepin Healthcare has a limited number of Mpox vaccines to give to eligible patients. Under CDC guidelines, we are currently prioritizing vaccination for people at the highest risk for Mpox infection, which includes:
- People who have been exposed to Mpox
- 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 for Mpox
If you develop a rash (bumps, sores, or blisters) or are worried that you might have Mpox or believe you have been exposed to it, we encourage you to contact your primary healthcare provider. If you don’t have a primary healthcare provider, you are welcome to call the appointment line at 612-873-6963.
We can only test for Mpox if a rash is present. Testing involves a swab of the rash. If positive for Mpox, 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 Mpox or are waiting for results, please follow CDC isolation and prevention practices.
Harm Reduction for Mpox
Mpox is not a sexually transmitted disease. Mpox is mostly transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, which includes sex, but can also spread through hugging, kissing, cuddling, etc.
Managing Symptoms of Mpox
Mpox 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