Monkeypox is a 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 and it is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can spread through any close, personal contact with someone infected.
Have questions about monkeypox? Call 440-322-6367 to talk to a public health nurse.
A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. It can take up to 21 days for symptoms to develop after exposure. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through:
The best way to protect yourself from the current monkeypox outbreak is to:
Anyone can get monkeypox if they come in close contact with someone infected with the virus, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. At this time, most, but not all cases of monkeypox within the 2022 outbreak have been found in people who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men.
If you have symptoms of monkeypox, talk to your healthcare provider right away. Your healthcare provider will help you decide if you need to be tested for monkeypox. If they decide you should be tested, they will work with you to collect the specimens and send them to a laboratory for testing. Laboratory testing results can take up to two weeks.
Before you see a healthcare provider (or while waiting for test results), you should:
Vaccine appointments are available in Cuyahoga County for people who are eligible.