What is Mpox?
Mpox (Monkeypox) is an infectious viral disease that causes skin lesions, often preceded or followed by influenza-like symptoms, with possible complications including significant scarring, secondary infections, pneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis, and loss of vision with severe eye infection. The current outbreak began in May 2022 and the disease was first detected in New Hampshire in late June 2022. The incubation period of Mpox is 5 to 13 days (sometimes up to 21 days).
What are the symptoms of Mpox?
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms (for example, sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
- A rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus, but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth
- The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
- The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Infections with the type of Mpox identified in the current outbreak are rarely fatal but can be more dangerous for people with immunodeficiency and/or comorbidities. The risk level for children and pregnant people is unknown, and Mpox may be passed from a pregnant person to a fetus.
What are the treatments for Mpox?
Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for the Mpox virus infection. For purposes of controlling a Mpox outbreak in the United States, smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used.
How is Mpox transmitted?
- Transmission of the Mpox virus occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus.
- The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).
- Examples of high and intermediate risk exposures:
- Contact with contaminated clothing such as; shared towels and linens (infectious body fluids and scabs may be present).
- Skin-to-skin contact with a person who has Mpox.
- Being in a patient’s room or within 6 feet of a patient during any procedure that may create aerosols from oral secretions, skin lesions, or resuspension of dried exudates, without wearing an N95 or equivalent respirator and eye protection.
- Being within 6 feet for three hours or more of an unasked patient without wearing, at a minimum, a surgical mask.
For more information, visit the following pages about Mpox:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
- Vermont Department of Health