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.
MONKEYPOX SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could 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 initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches and backache
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
You may experience all or only a few symptoms
- Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
- Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
- Others only experience a rash.
When properly administered before or soon after exposure, vaccines can help protect against monkeypox illness.
The vaccine most commonly used for preventing monkeypox infection is JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) which has been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As of October 3, 2022, vaccination will be available to individuals who live or work in Massachusetts and meet the CDC’s current eligibility criteria, which have recently expanded to include individuals at potential risk for monkeypox in addition to those with possible recent exposure to an individual with monkeypox. Here are a list of current eligibility criteria.
When you request vaccine, you will not be asked which of these criteria applies to you. It is sufficient to say that you consider yourself to be at risk for monkeypox.
While many of the identified cases are within networks of self-identified gay and bisexual men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals who have sex with men, people of any sexual orientation or gender identity can become infected and spread monkeypox.
HOW TO OBTAIN VACCINE
Visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website to find locations offering the JYNNEOS vaccine for monkeypox.
Please review the vaccine information statement before receiving a vaccination.
Notifying Close Contacts | CDC
Preventing Spread to Others | CDC
Social Gatherings: Know Before You Go | CDC
What To Do if You are a Close Contact of a Person with Monkeypox| CDC