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Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) is a disease caused by a virus. The mpox virus is from the same family of viruses as smallpox. Mpox and smallpox have similar symptoms. But mpox symptoms are milder, and it rarely causes death. Mpox isn't related to chickenpox.
Mpox is spread through close person-to-person contact, such as through cuddling, kissing, and having sex. It may be spread by touching items used by a person with mpox, such as blankets. A person who is pregnant can spread the virus to their unborn baby. It can also be spread from animals to people.
Mpox often causes a painful rash along with other symptoms. Symptoms last for about 2 to 4 weeks. Most people can treat their symptoms at home. If you're very sick or more likely to get very sick, or if the rash is in a certain spot, you may need antiviral medicines. In some cases, people are treated in the hospital.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: October 31, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:JoLynn Montgomery PA - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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