News Item

Mpox Updates

posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2022.


Mpox Basics

Mpox, formerly known as Monkeypox, is a potentially serious disease that is caused by the mpox virus, a virus from the same family of viruses as smallpox. Typically, mpox is predominantly found in Central and West African countries and does not spread widely across the United States.



Mpox Vaccine


Vaccine Eligibility

Based on eligibility criteria from DHS, vaccination is now available for:

  • Known contacts who are identified by public health officials via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments

  • Presumed contacts who meet one of the following criteria:
    • People who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with mpox,
    • People who attended an event or venue where there was known mpox exposure, OR
    • Gay men, bisexual men, trans men and women, any men who have sex with men, and gender non-conforming/non-binary individuals who have had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days.

Vaccine Availability

The City of Racine Public Health Department currently has a limited supply of JYNNEOS mpox vaccine available for Racine County residents who meet the above eligibility criteria. If you are eligible and would like to receive the vaccine, call 262-636-9431 to schedule an appointment.

Note the vaccine is a 2-dose series, with the first and second doses separated by 28 days.


Vaccination Basics

There are two vaccines approved for mpox, JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. JYNNEOS is the preferred vaccine for nearly everyone. You can read more about the differences in the vaccines on the CDC website. In the US, there is currently a limited supply of JYNNEOS, although more is expected in the coming weeks and months. Similar to the COVID-19 vaccines, the mpox vaccine is a two-dose series with doses separated by 28 days (4 weeks). Receiving both doses in the series is important for achieving the full protection that the vaccine can provide.



About Mpox

 Mpox is a disease that has been around for several decades. 

  • Mpox was first discovered in 1958 among monkeys. The first human case was recorded in 1970.
  • Smallpox vaccines work on mpox. If someone has confirmed, high-risk exposure, the smallpox vaccine can be given to help prevent disease.
  • Most people recover from mpox without treatment or hospitalization. There are effective treatments for people with severe mpox.
  • The strain of the mpox virus that is spreading with the current outbreak is rarely deadly. Nearly everyone who gets this form of the disease will survive. However, people with weakened immune systems, children under 8 years of age, people with a history of eczema, and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be more likely to get very sick or die.
  • While this strain is rarely deadly, the symptoms can be extremely painful, and people might have permanent scarring as a result of the rash.



Signs and Symptoms of Mpox

Symptoms of mpox can include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters and may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) but could also 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 look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
    • Photos of the mpox rash can be found on the CDC's Mpox Signs and Symptoms website.

You may experience all or only a few symptoms. Sometimes people develop a rash first followed by additional symptoms, while others only experience a rash. However, most people with mpox will develop a rash.

Mpox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone is infected with mpox and develops flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

Mpox can be spread beginning at the time of symptoms. A person with mpox is considered contagious until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

Call your doctor if you have symptoms of mpox. Available health care resources for the Racine-area can be found in this document.



Mpox and Risk

While the current outbreak is spreading through specific social networks, people of any gender, age, race, and sexual orientation can become infected with mpox. Mpox spreads in multiple ways. The virus most commonly spreads from person-to-person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. The rash of someone with mpox can spread the virus until all sores have healed and are replaced with fresh skin.

Mpox can also spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex. In addition, pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids is another way mpox spreads. It’s also possible for people to get mpox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by eating meat or using products from an infected animal.