Mpox Home

Weekend MPV Vaccination Clinics 

Appointments are available this weekend at:

  • 24-Hour Monkeypox Vax-A-Thon:
    • Location: Instituto Del Progreso Latino, 2520 S. Western Ave., Chicago
    • Schedule: Friday, September 9 at 5 p.m. through Saturday, September 10 at 5 p.m.
    • Registration: On-site registration only

Mpox (monkeypox) is a viral infection, with symptoms that can include a painful and uncomfortable rash or sores, often accompanied with flu-like illness. mpox can result in severe disease requiring hospitalization particularly in persons with other health conditions or those who are immunocompromised. The virus is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox, and symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder. Mpox is not related to chickenpox. Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, can get mpox through close, personal contact with someone who has symptoms of mpox. However, data suggests that the virus has primarily spread among social networks of gay, bisexual, and same gender-loving men through intimate contact. Risk is especially high for same gender-loving men who have multiple or anonymous sexual partners. 

Current Chicago case totals can be found at the CDPH Mpox Data Dashboard


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What You Should Know

  • Mpox (monkeypox) is spread through close contact with body fluids, sores, shared bedding or clothing, or respiratory droplets (kissing, coughing, sneezing).
  • The JYNNEOS™ vaccine can help protect people against mpox and is recommended for sexually active bisexual, gay, and other same-gender loving men, transgender persons, AND anyone who has had close contact with someone diagnosed with mpox regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation. 
  • Common symptoms:  Rash or unusual sores that look like pimples or blisters on the face, body, and genitals, fever, chills, head or muscle aches, or swelling of lymph nodes.
  • Clinicians: Please refer to our Chicago Health Alert Network for additional information including specimen collection and infection prevention guidance.

How it Spreads

Mpox (monkeypox) spreads from person to person in different ways. The main way it is currently spreading is through direct contact with a rash or sore on someone infected with mpox. It can also spread through clothing, bedding/linens, or other materials used by a person infected with mpox, or through respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.

Spread can occur during intimate activities, including:

  • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex.
  • Hugging, kissing, and cuddling.
  • Contact with bedding or other items that have the virus on them during or after intimate activity.

We currently believe that mpox spreads from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This typically takes about 2-4 weeks. At this time, it is not known if mpox can spread through saliva, semen, or vaginal fluids.

if you were exposed or think you were exposed

  • Review how mpox spreads and whether you have had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with mpox.
  • Practice good prevention. 
    • Continue routine daily activities (e.g. school, work) as long as you do not have symptoms but avoid close, personal, skin-to-skin contact
    • Avoid sex and other close personal contact
    • Avoid large gatherings, especially if they involve close, personal, skin-to-skin contact
    • Do not share personal items like towels, bedding, dishes, utensils, or eating utensils
  • Get vaccinated. The mpox vaccine is recommended for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has been diagnosed with mpox. Vaccinations can reduce the risk of infection and serious illness for those who have been exposed but are not exhibiting symptoms. Make sure to get the second recommended does 28 days later.
  • Watch for signs and symptoms for 21 days from the date of your last exposure. 
    • Take your temperature with a thermometer twice a day (morning and night)
    • Check for rash or unusual sores that look like pimples or blisters on the face, body, and genitals
  • Call your healthcare provider or a health center if you show symptoms or need to be evaluated or tested. There is no at-home test for mpox. The test can only be given to those exhibiting rash symptoms. If you don’t have a doctor or insurance, contact HIV/STI Resource Hub at 844.482.4040/hivhub.org or visit FindAHealthCenter.hrsa.gov for free or low-cost care.

CDPH Guidance for Individuals Who Have Been Exposed to Mpox 

if you are sick

  • Isolate if you or your partner(s) feel sick or have a new or unexplained rash or sores.
    • Isolate in a private room and avoid close contact with other people and animals in your household
    • Take a break from sex and other close personal contact
    • Do not share personal items like towels, bedding, dishes, utensils, or eating utensils
    • Use a face mask and cover rash and sores when you are unable to separate from others
  • Call your health care provider or a health center right away if you or your partner(s) show signs and symptoms of mpox. If you don’t have a doctor or insurance, contact HIV/STI Resource Hub at 844.482.4040/hivhub.org or visit FindAHealthCenter.hrsa.gov for free or low-cost care.
  • Get tested through your healthcare provider. There is no at-home test for mpox. The test can only be given to those exhibiting rash symptoms.
  • Let close contacts know they may have been exposed to mpox. Communication is the key to controlling this outbreak.
  • Take care of yourself and follow recommended treatments. Most people with mpox recover fully within 2 to 4 weeks without the need for medical treatment.

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What Are My MPV Risk Factors?Prevention

 Take the following steps to prevent getting mpox (monkeypox):

  • Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox.
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of someone with mpox.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have sex with someone with mpox.
    • Do not share food, drinks, or eating utensils with someone with mpox. 
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of someone with mpox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

If you or your partners are sick:

  • Do not have sex or close physical contact, especially if you or they have a rash or sore, until you have talked to a healthcare provider.
  • If you choose to have sex while sick, avoid kissing and other face-to-face contact. Cover all sores with clothing or bandages to help reduce risk of spread.
  • Wash your hands, sex toys, and bedding before and after sex.

Evaluate the level of risk when making plans or deciding whether to attend certain events:

  • Having sex or other intimate contact with multiple or anonymous people, such as those met through dating apps or on social media, increases your risk of exposure.
  • Clubs, raves, saunas, sex parties, and other events may also increase your risk of exposure, especially if people are wearing less clothing.

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