What is monkeypox and what are the symptoms?
Monkeypox is a rash that can look like pimples or blisters on the face, the inside of the mouth, hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. Monkeypox infections are typically not severe. MPV symptoms usually start within 2 weeks of exposure to the virus.
How is monkeypox spread?
MPV can be spread from the time symptoms start until all sores and scabs are gone and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks.
Who can get monkeypox?
Any person, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, can acquire and spread monkeypox. Currently, the vast majority of the known monkeypox cases are among men who have sex with men. Traveling to a country currently experiencing an outbreak could increase your risk of contracting monkeypox. If you are planning international travel, check that country’s infection rate on the WHO website.
Can I get tested for monkeypox?
Testing can be provided at the Platte County Health Department on a case-by-case basis. No walk-ins will be accepted. Anyone who believes they have monkeypox symptoms (rash/lesions) should call the health department at 816.858.2412 and select option 9.
You can also contact your private provider for testing.
Can I get vaccinated against monkeypox?
For the northwest region of Missouri, the Kansas City Health Department distributes the monkeypox (MPV) vaccine, Jynneos. Missouri residents who believe they are at high-risk should fill out this online form to check their eligibility for vaccination. All information is confidential.
For those who want to be vaccinated at the Kansas City Health Department, but prefer or cannot fill out the form, you may call to speak to a public health specialist, who will ask you some questions to verify your eligibility. The number to call is: 816.513.6152.
What can I do to protect myself?
- 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.
For gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, the following activities put you at high risk for exposure:
- Having sex or other intimate contact with multiple or anonymous people (such as those met through social media, dating apps, or at parties) increases your risk of exposures.
- Clubs, raves, saunas, sex parties and other places with skin-to-skin or face-to-face contact with many people may also increase risk of exposure, especially if people are wearing less clothing.
- Personnel who collect specimens should use personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with recommendations for health care settings.
Is monkeypox going to be another pandemic like COVID-19?
The spread of monkeypox is different than the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- There is a vaccine for monkeypox.
- Monkeypox can be treated with available antiviral medicines.
- While COVID-19 passed easily from person to person, monkeypox does not spread as easily between people. Monkeypox transmission typically requires skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with body fluids, or prolonged, close face-to-face contact.
How can I learn more about monkeypox?
The following websites are trusted sources of information about monkeypox.