Monkeypox Resources

Cases of Monkeypox are increasing in NYC.


Monkeypox is a rare, viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness. However, it can result in hospitalization or death. That's why health officials in New York, the U.S., and around the world are monitoring cases of monkeypox in areas that do not usually report monkeypox infections, including in New York State.


While New Yorkers should not be alarmed, everyone should stay informed about the monkeypox virus. This means understanding the symptoms, how it spreads, and what to do if you are exposed.


Anyone can get and spread monkeypox. The current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. If you have multiple or anonymous sex partners, your likelihood of exposure is high.


If you have a new or unexpected rash or sores, contact a health care provider.

Common Questions about Monkeypox

5 Things to Know About Monkeypox


Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Dr. Demetre Daskalakis explains 5 things to know about monkeypox.

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 was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. Despite being named “monkeypox,” the source of the disease remains unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) might harbor the virus and infect people.


The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. Prior to the 2022 outbreak, monkeypox had been reported in people in several central and western African countries. Previously, almost all monkeypox cases in people outside of Africa were linked to international travel to countries where the disease commonly occurs or through imported animals. These cases occurred on multiple continents.


SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?

Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.


Symptoms of monkeypox 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.


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


For additional information and photos please visit the CDC Monkeypox information website.



SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How does Monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox 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

  • It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.


Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.



SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How to prevent getting Monkeypox?

Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:

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

  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.

  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.

  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.

  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched.


If you are sick with monkeypox:

  • Isolate at home

  • If you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.

Vaccination

CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox, including:


  • People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox

  • People who may have been exposed to monkeypox, such as:

    • People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox

    • People who had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox

  • People whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses, such as:

    • Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses

    • Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses

    • Some designated healthcare or public health workers


Please note the City of New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has evolving criteria to determine vaccination eligibility.




SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How to prevent getting Monkeypox?

Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:

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

  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.

  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.

  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.

  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched.


If you are sick with monkeypox:

  • Isolate at home

  • If you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.



Vaccination

CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox, including:


  • People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox

  • People who may have been exposed to monkeypox, such as:

    • People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox

    • People who had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox

  • People whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses, such as:

    • Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses

    • Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses

    • Some designated healthcare or public health workers


Please note the City of New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has evolving criteria to determine vaccination eligibility.




SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What are the vaccination strategies to prevent Monkeypox transmission?

When properly administered before or after a recent exposure, vaccines can be effective tools at protecting people against monkeypox illness. The following vaccination strategies are being used in the United States:


Monkeypox Vaccine Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

  • For the current outbreak, this approach can be considered as “standard PEP” for monkeypox. People can be vaccinated following exposure to monkeypox to help prevent illness from monkeypox virus. It is important that states and other jurisdictions identify contacts of confirmed or probable monkeypox cases to offer vaccine for PEP and to monitor for any early signs of illness.

  • CDC recommends that the vaccine be given within 4 days from the date of exposure for the best chance to prevent onset of the disease.

  • If given between 4 and 14 days after the date of exposure, vaccination may reduce the symptoms of disease, but may not prevent the disease. However, when coupled with self-isolation and other prevention measures when symptoms first occur, PEP is important for controlling outbreaks and preventing further transmission of monkeypox.


Outbreak Response Monkeypox Vaccine Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)++

  • For the current outbreak, this expanded approach can be considered as “individual-directed PEP” for monkeypox; public health officials refer to it as “expanded PEP” or “PEP plus-plus” or “PEP++”.

  • People with certain risk factors are more likely to have been recently exposed to monkeypox. The PEP++ approach aims to reach these people for post-exposure prophylaxis, even if they have not had documented exposure to someone with confirmed monkeypox.

  • When coupled with self-isolation and other prevention measures when symptoms first occur, PEP++ may help slow the spread of the disease in areas with large numbers of monkeypox cases—which would suggest a higher level of monkeypox virus transmission.


Monkeypox Vaccine Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

  • This approach refers to administering vaccine to someone at high risk for monkeypox (for example, laboratory workers who handle specimens that might contain monkeypox virus).

  • At this time, most clinicians in the United States and laboratorians not performing the orthopoxvirus generic test to diagnose orthopoxviruses, including monkeypox virus, are not advised to receive monkeypox vaccine PrEP.


Visit the CDC Monkeypox website for more information about specific vaccines and transmission prevention strategies.



SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What are the are the treatments for Monkeypox?

There are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections.


Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.


If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.


SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Testing & Treatment

The helpNYC Outreach Team is currently working with its partners to build of a list of medical clinics for the testing and treatment of Monkeypox. For updates please sign up for our Community Updates.



PROVIDERS: If your organization is providing Monkeypox Virus testing and treatment, please email us at outreach@helpNYC.info with your Medical Director's contact information. Thank you.












Resources & Information about Monkeypox

City of New York

Monkeypox Overview

Department of Health and Mental HygieneCity of New York
nyc.gov/monkeypox
Listing ID: 2948394204

The City of New York's Department of Health and Mental Hyigene (DOHMH or NYC Health) has setup a Monkeypox landing page on their website. Here you can find out information about the virus, treatment, vaccination, and other critical information to the breakout in New York City.


Monkeypox Vaccination

Department of Health and Mental HygieneCity of New York
vax4nyc.nyc.gov/monkeypox

877.829.4692


Listing ID: 2948397378

The City of New York's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has had challenges with the scheduling Monkeypox vaccine for eligible New Yorkers.


Appointments are available by calling 877.829.4692. Please note that appointments as are released in blocks. So, if there isn't an appointment available keep checking the website and calling the phone number.


Please note that are evolving eligibility requirements for vaccination at this time.

Monkeypox Text Alerts from NotifyNYC

Office of Emergency ManagementOffice of Technology and InformationCity of New York
TEXT "Monkeypox" to 692-692
Listing ID: 2948399803

The City of New York's Office of Emergency Management in coordination with the Office of Technology and Information has set up a text alert system to update New Yorkers about developments in the Monkeypox outbreak.


TEXT "Monkeypox" to 692-692


State of New York

Monkeypox Overview

Department of HealthState of New York
health.ny.gov/monkeypox
Listing ID: 2948403248

The State of New York's Department of Health has set up a Monkeypox landing page on its website. They provide prevention, testing, treatment, and vaccination information for residents of the State of New York.


Monkeypox Text Alerts (NYS)

Department of HealthState of New York
TEST "Monkeypox" to 81336
Listing ID: 2948406048

The State of New York Governor's Office has set up a text alert system to update New Yorkers about developments in the Monkeypox outbreak.


To sign up in English text "MONKEYPOX" to 81336


La Oficina del Gobernador del Estado de Nueva York ha establecido un sistema de alerta de texto para actualizar a los neoyorquinos sobre los desarrollos en el brote de Monkeypox.


Para registrarse en español, envíe un mensaje de texto con la palabra "MONKEYPOXESP" al 81336




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources for Monkeypox

CDC Monkeypox Information

Centers for Disease Control and PreventionU.S. Department of Health & Human Services
website | 800.232.4636‬
Listing ID: 2948409090

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services maintains the current nationwide information on Monkeypox.