Monkeypox is a rare viral disease spread through close personal contact, including skin-to-skin. It can cause a rash or sores, and flu-like illness. The disease is rare, but is being increasingly reported in the U.S. and other countries that don't normally have monkeypox cases.
Mississippi's first case of monkeypox was identified on July 25, 2022. For the latest case counts, see the CDC's monkeypox surveillance page.
How Monkeypox is Spread
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal contact — including skin-to-skin contact such as:
Monkeypox does not spread easily without close contact.
This contact can happen during any intimate sexual contact:
- Oral, anal, and vaginal sex
- Hugging, massage, or touching any body part with monkeypox sores
- Kissing and talking closely
- Touching fabrics and objects used by a person with monkeypox, such as bedding, towels or surfaces that have come into contact with them
Many monkeypox cases have occurred among men who have sex with men, but anyone who comes into close contact with an infected person may be at risk.
Early symptoms of monkeypox are usually flu-like:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
Other symptoms usually develop a few days later:
- A rash or sores, sometimes located on or near the genitals or anus, but sometimes in other areas such as the hands, feet, chest or face. These sores will go through several stages before healing.
- Sores may be inside the body, including the mouth, vagina, or anus.
Note: Some people experience a rash or sores first, followed by other symptoms and some only experience a rash or sores.
When you can infect others: Monkeypox can be spread to others when symptoms begin and until all sores have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Healing can take several weeks.
If You Have Symptoms
If you have a new or unexplained rash, sores, or other symptoms, see your healthcare provider.
If You or Your Partner Have Monkeypox
- Follow the treatment and prevention recommendations of your healthcare provider.
- Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until all your sores have healed and you have a fresh layer of skin formed.
For Healthcare Providers
The CDC has more information on monkeypox and protective steps.