Monkeypox: What You Need to Know

Monkeypox is a rare disease that has been spreading around the world in countries that don’t normally see monkeypox, including the United States. Monkeypox is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Although monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, they are milder and the disease is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox, though the rash may look like chickenpox.

Read more about monkeypox here.

Prevention and Treatment
Additional Resources


Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache, muscle aches, and/or backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Sore throat, nasal congestion, and/or cough
  • A painful, blistery, crusting rash that may be located almost anywhere on the body

A person with monkeypox may experience all or only a few symptoms. Sometimes the rash appears first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash and no other symptoms.

If you have a new or unexplained rash or other symptoms, avoid close or intimate contact with anyone until you have been checked out by a health care provider.

Read more about the signs and symptoms of monkeypox here.

Prevention and Treatment

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash one to four days later.

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. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks.

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.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used, including cups, dishes, silverware, bedding, towels, or clothing.
  • 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.

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.

Learn more about how monkeypox spreads here.

Learn more about protecting yourself from monkeypox here.

Vaccination and Eligibility

The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who may be more likely to get monkeypox. Vaccination can prevent monkeypox in people who are vaccinated within four days of exposure, and can lessen the severity of the disease in those vaccinated within 14 days of exposure.

In New Jersey, the number of available vaccine doses are limited. Currently, state residents eligible for the Jynneos vaccine include:

  • People who have known contact with someone who tested positive for orthopoxvirus or monkeypox virus within the past 14 days.
  • People who attended an event where known monkeypox exposure occurred within the past 14 days.
  • People who had multiple sexual partners or anonymous sexual encounters in the past 14 days in an area with known monkeypox.

People meeting the criteria above may make an appointment at Cooper University Health Care’s Vaccine and Testing Clinic. The center offers vaccination only, and does not perform testing for monkeypox.

Cooper Vaccine and Testing Clinic
300 Broadway, Camden, NJ 080103
Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
By appointment only; no walk-ins.
To make an appointment, please use myCooper or call 856.968.7100.

More Monkeypox Resources

Pets in the Home

Infected animals can spread monkeypox virus to people, and it is possible that people who are infected can spread monkeypox virus to household pets through close contact, including petting, cuddling, sharing sleeping areas, and sharing food.

Read more about pets and monkeypox.

Disinfecting the Home

People with monkeypox who do not require hospitalization may be isolated at home. During the infectious period, body fluids, respiratory secretions, and lesion material from people with monkeypox can live on linens, clothing, and other surfaces that they touch.

Read more about cleaning and disinfecting your home and car.