Healthy New Jersey

Mpox (monkeypox)

Signs and Symptoms

People with mpox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

The rash goes through phases, including scabs, before healing. The rash starts out looking like pimples or blisters and may be
painful or itchy.

Symptoms of mpox can include:

  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside of the mouth, and on other parts of the body such as hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Chills

How Long Do Symptoms Last?

Symptoms usually begin within 3 weeks after exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will likely get a rash 1 to 4 days later. The illness typically lasts 2 to 4 weeks.

A person with mpox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Some people can spread mpox to others from 1 to 4 days before their symptoms appear. 

What to do If you were just diagnosed with mpox:

If you are diagnosed with mpox, or an orthopox virus, avoid others (isolate) until your rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This includes:

  • Avoiding sex or being intimate with anyone until all your sores have healed and you have a fresh layer of skin formed.
  • Avoiding being in crowds.
  • Avoiding contact with animals including pets, domestic animals, and wildlife.
  • Rashes on the body should be covered with long sleeves or pants to avoid touching other people.
  • If rashes can’t be easily covered, stay away from other people and pets as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Wash surfaces and materials that you have touched while you had symptoms, including bedding, towels, clothing, sex toys, and surfaces such as door handles or counter tops. Standard household cleaning and disinfecting products may be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

View Isolation Guidelines

Additional Resources

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