What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?
Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
How does Monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to-person through:
- Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
- Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
- Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
- Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
What should I do if I believe I may have been infected?
- If you suspect you may have Monkeypox, call or message your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms. They will instruct you how to proceed with any care you need.
The best ways to protect yourself from Monkeypox
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
What is TPOXX (Tecovirimat)?
Tecovirimat (also known as TPOXX or ST-246) is FDA-approved for the treatment of human smallpox disease caused by Variola virus in adults and children. However, its use for other orthopoxvirus infections, including monkeypox, is not approved by the FDA. Therefore, CDC holds a non-research expanded access Investigational New Drug (EA-IND) protocol that allows for the use of tecovirimat for primary or early empiric treatment of non-variola orthopoxvirus infections, including monkeypox, in adults and children of all ages.
Who qualifies for TPOXX Treatment?
TPOXX may be considered for treatment in people infected with Monkeypox virus:
- With severe disease (e.g., hemorrhagic disease, confluent lesions, sepsis, encephalitis, or other conditions requiring hospitalization)
- Who are at high risk of severe disease:
- People with immunocompromising conditions (e.g., HIV/AIDS, leukemia, lymphoma, generalized malignancy, solid organ transplantation, therapy with alkylating agents, antimetabolites, radiation, tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, high-dose corticosteroids, being a recipient with hematopoietic stem cell transplant <24 months post-transplant or ≥24 months but with graft-versus-host disease or disease relapse, or having autoimmune disease with immunodeficiency as a clinical component)
- Pediatric populations, particularly patients younger than 8 years of age
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- People with a history or presence of atopic dermatitis, people with other active exfoliative skin conditions (e.g., eczema, burns, impetigo, varicella zoster virus infection, herpes simplex virus infection, severe acne, severe diaper dermatitis with extensive areas of denuded skin, psoriasis, or Darier disease [keratosis follicularis])
- People with one or more complication (e.g., secondary bacterial skin infection; gastroenteritis with severe nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration; bronchopneumonia; concurrent disease or other comorbidities)
- With aberrant infections involving accidental implantation in eyes, mouth, or other anatomic areas where Monkeypox virus infection might constitute a special hazard (e.g., the genitals or anus)
If you have tested positive for Monkeypox and wish to be screened for potential treatment with TPOXX (Tecovirimat), please complete the following contact information to request a screening evaluation. A healthcare professional will contact you within 24-48 business hours.