Top of the page
Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) is a disease caused by a virus. If you have it, you may get a painful rash along with other symptoms. Mpox is from the same family of viruses as smallpox. They have similar symptoms, but mpox symptoms are milder. It rarely causes death. Mpox isn't related to chickenpox.
Mpox is spread through close contact with an infected person or animal.
You may get mpox if you:
Symptoms may include:
The rash can show up anywhere on your body, such as on your genitals, anus, face, arms, or legs. A rash can have one bump or many bumps, and it may be painful. At first, the bumps may look like flat spots. Over time, they may look like pimples or pus-filled blisters. The bumps scab over and may be itchy as they heal.
Symptoms often start around 1 to 2 weeks after a person is infected. They usually last 2 to 4 weeks. Some people don't get symptoms.
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and may do a physical exam. You may also be asked about travel and if you know anyone who has symptoms. If your doctor suspects that you have mpox, they will swab the rash for testing. They may also check for infections like herpes.
Most cases are treated at home with rest and pain medicines. If you are very sick or more likely to get very sick, your doctor may give you an antiviral medicine. You may also get this medicine if the rash is in a certain spot. In some cases, people are treated in the hospital.
There are some things you can do to avoid getting or spreading mpox.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
Adaptation Date: 8/24/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.