Monkeypox (MPV) is a disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
How it Spreads
Monkeypox spreads in a few ways.
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
- Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox. This direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including:
- Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals or anus of a person with monkeypox.
- Hugging, massage, and kissing.
- Prolonged face-to-face contact.
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
- Contact with respiratory secretions.
- Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.
- A pregnant person 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.
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 2-4 weeks.
Signs and Symptoms
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms (examples include sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
- Rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
MPV is contagious when a rash is present and up until scabs have fallen off. Symptoms generally appear one to two weeks after exposure and infection, and the rash often lasts two to four weeks. Persons experiencing MPV symptoms should contact their health care provider for evaluation. While many of those affected in the current global outbreaks are men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness.
There are no treatments specifically for MPV infections. However, MPV and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat MPV infections.
States are receiving vaccine allocations from the Strategic National Stockpile in accordance with the number of MPV cases and the size of the underlying at-risk population. Michigan has received a limited supply of the vaccine, JYNNEOS. Additional limited allocations will follow in the next few months, but specific quantities and timelines are not yet known. The federal government continues to purchase vaccine, but JYNNEOS is not likely to become broadly available in the near-term.
Monkeypox (MPV) JYNNEOS Vaccine
The JYNNEOS vaccine is recommended for people ages 18 and older at high risk for MPV infection.
The JYNNEOS vaccine has been approved in the U.S. for the prevention of MPV and smallpox. Experts believe that it can be an effective tool to help prevent MPV if given within 4 days of exposure or reduce severity of illness if given within 14 days after an exposure.
Side effects are common but usually mild. Most people have redness, swelling and pain where they got the shot. Tiredness, headache and muscle pain can also occur after vaccination.
Who is eligible for JYNNEOS vaccine right now?
Due to very limited vaccine supplies currently in Michigan, the vaccine is prioritized at this time to those who meet one of the following criteria:
- You are 18+ years old and were exposed to MPV within the last 14 days (you had close physical contact, including household contact, with someone who was diagnosed with MPV) OR,
- Individuals 18+ years old who are at higher risk for exposure including:
- Partners or close/household contacts of individuals who have been exposed to MPV or engaged in higher-risk activities OR,
- Men who have sex with men and have a history of STI in the last year OR,
- Individuals who have or plan to have multiple or anonymous sex partners OR,
- Individuals who have or plan to have close contact at a high-risk event or high-risk venue OR,
- Individuals engaged in any type of sex work OR,
- Individuals taking HIVPrEP or those living with HIV.
If you do not meet these criteria, you are not currently eligible for JYNNEOS vaccine. Vaccine eligibility is set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Supply is allocated to states based on number of cases. As more doses become available, vaccine availability may expand further.
I'm eligible for MPV vaccine. How do I make an appointment?
If you meet the above criteria and live in Out-Wayne County (excluding City of Detroit), call the Wayne County Health Department.
1-866-610-3885, Mon-Fri 8:00AM to 4:00PM.
Our staff will ask you a few questions about your exposure or risk before scheduling your appointment.