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What is Mpox?
Mpox (formerly called "monkeypox") is a virus within the same group as smallpox. It is not related to chickenpox. Anyone can become infected with Mpox. Sexual and gender minorities are currently being disproportionately affected.
Fortunately, Mpox is rarely fatal. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 99 percent of people who are infected with the type of Mpox virus identified in the most recent outbreak—the West African type—are likely to survive.
However, Mpox can cause severe illness in some people, especially those who are immunocompromised, pregnant, elderly, or 8 or younger.
Symptoms of Mpox
Most people with Mpox will have a mild illness, but most will experience a rash, which can be extremely painful. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes/glands, rectal pain, and fatigue. Sometimes people get a rash first, followed by additional symptoms. Others only experience a rash. Learn more about signs and symptoms from the CDC.
Mpox is much less contagious than COVID-19. It can spread from close, personal, and often skin-to-skin contact with the Mpox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with Mpox, or with the clothing or bedding of an infected person.
Less commonly, the virus can spread via respiratory droplets after close and prolonged face-to-face contact (such as kissing). Mpox also can spread through sexual contact. According to the CDC, a person with Mpox 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 two to four weeks. Learn more about how it spreads.
Mpox rash can look like other diseases, so it’s important to seek guidance from a medical professional. If you notice a new rash on your body, you should contact your primary care physician or another health care provider.
Your care provider can collect a specimen by swabbing a lesion and sending it to be tested for the virus.
UR Medicine's Treatments for Mpox
Many people with Mpox won’t require treatment. Some people may need over-the-counter medication to manage pain caused by the rash.
People with Mpox who are at high risk for or have severe illness may qualify for an antiviral medication called tecovirimat (TPOXX). Patients with a confirmed positive Mpox test who meet eligibility criteria can be referred to receive tecovirimat at the UR Medicine Infectious Diseases Clinic.
You may also be eligible to receive tecovirimat in an ongoing research study at our site through the NIH-supported AIDS Clinical Trials Group network.
Vaccine to prevent Mpox
The Infectious Diseases Clinic is offering the Jynneos vaccine, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of Mpox virus infection. When given before or after an exposure, the vaccine can be effective in protecting people against illness. You can call the clinic to make an appointment or be referred by your provider.
What Sets Us Apart?
Our Infectious Diseases Division is at the forefront of patient care and clinical research. Through our experience with vaccine development; our expertise in bacterial, viral and fungal infections; and our work on national/international clinical trials, we work as partners with the community to keep people as safe and healthy as possible.
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