What is Monkeypox? 

Monkeypox is a viral infection that is currently spreading worldwide. It causes a disease that can be serious, painful, and occasionally fatal. Vaccination and treatment are available for people who are infected, exposed, or at high risk. Anyone can get monkeypox, but certain groups of people appear to be at higher risk at this time. This virus is spread by close contact, and research is ongoing to determine if it can spread in other ways. Monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, but sexual contact is one way that it can spread. 

Monkeypox Symptoms 

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could 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 initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy. 

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include: 

  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Exhaustion 
  • Muscle aches and backache 
  • Headache 
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough) 

You may experience all or only a few symptoms. 

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash. 
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. 
  • Others only experience a rash. 

How long do monkeypox symptoms last? 

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1 to 4 days later. Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start 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. 

How it Spreads 
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. 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. 
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox. 
  • Contact with respiratory secretions. 

This direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including: 

  • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) of a person with monkeypox. 
  • Hugging, massage, and kissing. 
  • Prolonged face-to-face contact. 
  • Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected.
  • A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta. 

Scientists are still researching: 

  • If the virus can be spread when someone has no symptoms. 
  • How often monkeypox is spread through respiratory secretions, or when a person with monkeypox symptoms might be more likely to spread the virus through respiratory secretions. 
  • Whether monkeypox can be spread through semen, vaginal fluids, urine, or feces.

If You Think You Have Monkeypox: 

  • Avoid close contact, including sex or being intimate with anyone, until you have been checked out by a healthcare provider. 
  • Call your healthcare provider and see if they think you need to be tested for monkeypox. 
  • If you do not have a healthcare provider, please call Three Rivers Public Health Department at 402-727-5396. 
  • When you see a healthcare provider, wear a mask, and remind them that this virus is circulating in the area. 






Our Mission


Three Rivers Public Health Department's Mission is to empower and educate families while promoting healthy living for the improvement of our communities.

Our Vision


Three Rivers Public Health Department's Vision is that in cooperation with our communities, we will always be compassionate and respectful in all of our public health endeavors.

Three Rivers Public Health Department

Serving Dodge, Saunders & Washington Counties in Eastern Nebraska

2400 North Lincoln Avenue, Fremont, NE 68025   •   402-727-5396   •   1-866-727-5396   •   [email protected]

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