Monkeypox is a rare, viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness. However, it can result in hospitalization or death. 

That's why health officials in New York, the United States, and around the world are monitoring cases of monkeypox in areas that do not usually report monkeypox infections, including in New York State.

While New Yorkers should not be alarmed, everyone should stay informed about monkeypox. This means understanding the symptoms, how it spreads, and what to do if you are exposed.

If you think you have monkeypox or may be at risk for infection, contact your provider to discuss risks and benefits of vaccination.



Monkeypox:  Resources for New Yorkers Exposed to or Concerned about Monkeypox.

Symptoms and Signs | Monkeypox
Monkeypox symptoms can include:
  • Fever\headaches
  • Back pain and muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills\Exhaustion
  • Respiratory issues (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
  • Rashes.  In particular, a rash or breakout of spots that appear on or close to the genitalia (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus, but which may also appear on the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
    • Before the rash heals, it will go through a number of stages, including scabs.
    • The rash may feel uncomfortable or itchy and resemble pimples or blisters.
    • Some patients have a rash that appears before (or independently of) other symptoms.
You may encounter a few or all of the symptoms
  • Sometimes the rash appears first, then the accompanying symptoms. Others only notice the physical rash.
  • Most individuals with monkeypox will get a rash.
After being exposed to the virus for three weeks, monkeypox symptoms typically appear. When experiencing flu-like symptoms, a rash typically appears 1-4 days later.
Until the rash has healed, all scabs have come off, and a new layer of skin has formed, monkeypox can still spread from person to person. Usually, the illness lasts two to four weeks.
Mode Of Transmission | Monkeypox
There are several ways that monkeypox spreads.
  • Anyone can contract monkeypox through close, direct, and frequently skin-to-skin contact, including:
    • Direct touch with a monkeypox patient's rash, scabs, or bodily fluids.
    • Interacting with items, materials (such as clothing, beds, or towels), or surfaces that have been touched by a person who has the monkeypox.
    • Exposure to respiratory secretions

  • This direct contact can occur during intimate interactions, such as:
    • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex, touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus of an individual carrying monkeypox.
    • Massages, kisses, and hugs.
    • Extended face-to-face contact
    • Touching linens, towels, or other items that have not been cleaned and were previously used by a person who has monkeypox.

  • Through the placenta, a pregnant individual can transmit the virus to their unborn child.
    • Additionally, individuals can contract monkeypox from diseased animals by being bitten or scratched by them, preparing or consuming meat from them, or using their products.
    • From the moment symptoms appear until the rash has completely disappeared and a new layer of skin has developed, a person with monkeypox might transmit it to others. Usually, the disease lasts two to four weeks.
  • According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Scientists are still researching:
    • If the virus can spread even while a person is asymptomatic.
    • When a person with monkeypox symptoms may be more susceptible to spread the virus through respiratory secretions, or how frequently monkeypox is disseminated through respiratory secretions.
Prevention Methods | Monkeypox

Follow these instructions, provided by the CDC, to avoid contracting monkeypox:

  • Avoid close contact with somebody who has a rash that resembles monkeypox.
  • Never touch a monkeypox victim's rash or sores.
  • Avoid sharing intercourse, kissing, hugging, and cuddling with someone who has the monkeypox.
  • Avoid coming into contact with items and materials that a monkeypox victim has used.
  • Sharing cups or eating utensils with someone who has monkeypox is not advised.
  • Never handle or touch a person who has monkeypox's bedding, towels, or clothing.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or often wash your hands with soap and water, especially after using the restroom and before touching your face or eating.
  • If visiting Central or West Africa, take special precaution to avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. 
Recommended Vaccines | Monkeypox
For those who have been exposed to monkeypox and those who may be more susceptible, the CDC advises vaccination.

Those who are more susceptible to monkeypox are:
  • People who have been identified as contacts of a monkeypox case by public health agencies
  • People who are aware that one of their sexual partners has had monkeypox over the preceding two weeks
  • Those who had several sexual partners within the previous two weeks in a region where monkeypox is known to exist
  • People who may be exposed to orthopoxviruses due to their occupations, including orthopoxvirus testing specialists in laboratories and designated healthcare personnel

Vaccine Protection

JYNNEOS is the recommended vaccine to prevent monkeypox.
  • JYNNEOS requires two doses. 
  • After receiving the second dose of JYNNEOS, the immune protection takes 14 days to reach its peak.
The JYNNEOS vaccine might be replaced by the ACAM2000 shot. ACAM2000 is a single-dose vaccine, and it takes four weeks for the immunological response it produces to be at its strongest. It could cause greater side effects and unfavorable occurrences than JYNNEOS, though. It is not advised for those who suffer from a number of medical disorders, including a severely compromised immune system. Until the immunological protection from vaccinations reaches its optimum, people should take steps to minimize their exposure to monkeypox. You should speak with your doctor to determine whether you need the JYNNEOS vaccine or ACAM2000 instead of the monkeypox vaccine.

New Yorkers Exposed to Monkeypox

New Yorkers who may have been exposed to monkeypox in areas with high levels of transmission may be eligible for the JYNNEOS vaccine.  Vaccine supply from the federal government is currently limited. Eligibility will expand as supply increases. People identified by a local health department as exposed to a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case in the past 14 days should work directly with their healthcare provider to discuss obtaining the JYNNEOS vaccine.




    Talk With Your Health Care Provider

    If you think you have monkeypox or may be at risk for infection, contact your provider to discuss risks and benefits of vaccination.

    Tell your vaccination provider if you, or the person getting the vaccine:

    • Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of smallpox vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies
    • Has a weakened immune system
    • Is pregnant or believe they might be pregnant or is breastfeeding

    In some cases, your health care provider may decide postponing routine (pre-exposure) smallpox/monkeypox vaccination with JYNNEOS™ until a future visit.

    Individuals with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. Individuals who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting a routine (pre-exposure) dose of JYNNEOS™.

    If you have been recommended by your provider to receive JYNNEOS™ due to an exposure to monkeypox virus, you should be vaccinated regardless of concurrent illnesses, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weakened immune system.

    Cost Sharing Guide

    Monkeypox Virus Infection

    ➥ Essential Plan Guidance related to cost sharing for the testing, diagnosis of, and vaccination of Monkeypox (Effective July 29, 2022)



    Visual Examples of the Monkeypox Rash



    For more Monkeypox visuals, please visit the CDC's Public Health Image Library (PHIL).



    Additional Resources for Monkeypox

    Additional information about monkeypox and monkeypox vaccines can be found at the websites listed below. 

    You can also contact your provider to obtain additional information about monkeypox.



    Guidance for Symptoms after Vaccination

    Monkeypox Vaccine (JYNNEOS)
    ➥ What to Expect After the Two-dose Monkeypox Vaccine

    Clinical Presentation of Monkeypox by the NYSDOH

    Monkeypox Infection Overview
    ➥ At-Risk Populations, Reporting & Laboratory Testing

    Vaccine Information Statement Provided by the CDC

    Monkeypox Vaccine (JYNNEOS)
    ➥ What You Need to Know about the Smallpox/Monkeypox Vaccine