Monkeypox virus (MPV) is a viral infection that usually causes spots on the skin. The spots may appear in the genital area or other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face or mouth. The spots often itch or hurt.
Some people will also experience fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion. These MPV symptoms can occur before or during the skin spots, or not at all. See a complete list of symptoms from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Symptoms start within three weeks of exposure, and the illness usually lasts two to four weeks. The majority of patients with monkeypox will recover without any need for treatment.
How Monkeypox Spreads
Monkeypox virus spreads between people through close skin-to-skin contact, which can occur during sexual or other close skin-to-skin encounters.
It can also be spread by contact with contaminated materials or by breathing in air and droplets if someone with monkeypox breathes, coughs or sneezes near you.
Monkeypox Testing and Treatment
If you believe you have monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider.
The THRIVE Program at the UMMS Midtown Campus can provide monkeypox evaluation, testing and treatment (if eligible per CDC criteria) for anyone over the age of 18.
Call 410-225-8369 and ask for a monkeypox appointment. The initial visit will be conducted by a video telemedicine visit.
Testing is also available at UM Urgent Care locations. Please keep in mind that if you do not have any lesions, you cannot be tested for MPV.
What to Do If You Are Exposed to MPV
If you believe you have been exposed to monkeypox, but are not experiencing any symptoms, please contact your local health department. You may be eligible for vaccination, but University of Maryland Medical System locations are not able to provide vaccinations at this time.