Mpox

ICHD has updated this page and relevant documents with the term "mpox" to reduce stigma and other issues associated with prior terminology. This change is aligned with recent World Health Organization, CDC, and MDHHS decisions. 

Guidance Documents and Resources

Information for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers should be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with mpox.

If you suspect mpox in your patient(s), you should contact the Ingham County Health Department Communicable Disease Division at 517-887-4308 during business hours or 517-342-9987 after hours. Providers can also consult with MDHHS at 517-335-8165. 

Additional Resources

Mpox Resources for Health Care Professionals, MDHHS 
Information for Healthcare Professionals, CDC
Testing Patients for Mpox, CDC
Infection Prevention and Control of Mpox in Healthcare Settings, CDC

What is mpox?
Mpox (monkeypox) is a rare disease caused by infection with the mpox virus. Mpox can make you sick, including a rash or sores (pox), often with an earlier flu-like illness. Mpox is rarely fatal. 

How does it spread?

Mpox 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

Mpox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. People who do not have mpox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

    What are the symptoms of mpox?
    Symptoms of mpox can include:

    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Muscle aches and backache
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Chills
    • Exhaustion
    • 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.

    Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely, typically 2-4 weeks. 

    How can I prevent mpox?
    Take the following three steps to prevent getting mpox:

    Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox.

    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with mpox.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with mpox.

    Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with mpox has used.

    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with mpox.
    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with mpox.

    Wash your hands often.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
    Vaccination is an important tool in preventing the spread of mpox. But given the current limited supply of vaccine, consider temporarily changing some behaviors that may increase your risk of being exposed. These temporary changes will help slow the spread of mpox until vaccine supply is adequate.

    Learn more about what you can do from the CDC: Safer Sex, Social Gatherings, and mpox

    If you think you may have been exposed, or if you have symptoms of mpox, avoid others (including pets) and contact your health care provider right away for evaluation and testing.

    Mpox Transmission Risk by Activity

    MOST RISKY

    • Direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
    • Sexual or intimate contact (condoms are likely not enough to prevent mpox)

    MORE RISKY

    • Kissing
    • Cuddling
    • Dancing at a crowded party inside with non-fully clothed people

    POSSIBLE

    • Sharing drinks, vapes, or cigarettes
    • Sharing a bed, towels, personal toiletry items, or sex toys
    • Dancing at a crowded party inside with fully clothed people

    UNLIKELY

    • Dancing at a party outside with mostly clothed people
    • Walking past someone in a grocery store
    • Trying on clothing at a store
    • Touching a doorknob or other equipment shared by others (like at a gym, coffee shop, etc.)
    • In a swimming pool, hot tub, or body of water
    • Coworker-to-coworker transmission
    • Flying in a plane or using public transportation
    • Using a public restroom



















    See Mpox Vaccine Eligibility Information for the current eligibility criteria and learn how to make an appointment for vaccination.

    The JYNNEOS vaccine is recommended for people who have been exposed to mpox and at high risk for infection. Experts believed that it can be an effective too; to help prevent mpox if given within 4 days of exposure or reduce severity of illness if given within 14 days after an exposure.

    Learn more about Mpox vaccination from the CDC: Mpox Vaccines