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communicable disease


Monkeypox (MPX) - El Dorado County

MPX is a rare disease that is caused by infection from the mpox virus. The mpox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus, which includes the variola (smallpox) virus as well as the vaccinia virus, which is used in the smallpox vaccine. Mpox is a public health concern because it can be transmitted person-to-person and can cause severe illness and even fatalities in humans. Although mpox virus is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, it is less transmissible and typically less severe than smallpox.

El Dorado County & the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are closely monitoring the MPX transmission in the County and California to rapidly identify cases. The risk of MPX to the public is low based on current information available. While MPX can infect anyone, many of the recent cases in 2022 have occurred among persons self-identifying as men who have sex with men (MSM).

Mpox Vaccine Eligibility Has Expanded!
Get your safe and effective mpox vaccine at a provider near you.

Mpox often starts with symptoms like the flu, with fever, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and general body aches. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, most infected people will develop a rash or sores. The sores go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. The sores can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful and itchy.

The rash or sores may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butt). They can also appear on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or inside the mouth. They may also be limited to one part of the body.

People with mpox may experience all or only a few of these symptoms, with most people developing the rash or sores. Some people have also reported developing a rash or sores before (or without) the flu-like symptoms. 

Monitoring Period
The estimated incubation period from infection to illness onset (i.e., rash or other related symptoms) ranges from 3 days to approximately 3 weeks. In addition to being infectious while symptoms are present (i.e., rash or other related symptoms); people can also transmit the virus to others up to four days before developing signs or symptoms. If you have been exposed to mpox, avoiding sexual contact with others during the 21-day monitoring period is highly recommended to prevent transmission of infection.​

Infectious Period 
A person with mpox can spread it to others from the start of symptoms until all sores have healed, scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed underneath, which can take several weeks. Th​ere is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows some people can spread mpox virus to others from 1 to 4 days prior to symptoms appearing (CDC Science Brief: Detection and Transmission of Mpox). To date, there is no evidence that people who never developed symptoms have spread the virus to others. ​

Mpox is mainly spread by people with symptoms but can also spread from people with very mild illness who don’t know they’re infected, or people without visible symptoms yet.

Mpox can be spread by:
  • Direct skin-to-skin contact with the sores or scabs of people with mpox.
  • Direct contact with body fluids of people with mpox, such as drainage from skin sores or saliva that was in contact with mouth sores.
  • Contact with the respiratory secretions of people with mpox, such as saliva, during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.
  • Touching items (such as bedding, towels, clothing, cups and utensils) that previously touched the sores or body fluids of people with mpox.
Note: People who have been exposed to and infected with mpox may be able to transmit the virus to others up to 4 days before developing symptoms

To date, there has been no evidence that mpox is spread by:
  • Attending an outdoor event with fully clothed people.
  • Trying on clothes or shoes at a store.
  • Traveling in an airport, on a plane or on other public transit.
  • Swimming in a pool or body of water.
  • Casual contact with other people. 
See CDC | How Mpox Spreads for more information.

If you believe you may have exposed someone to mpox while you were infectious, you can let them know anonymously (consider using, so they can self-monitor for 21-days, get vaccinated to reduce the risk of serious infection, and be tested as soon as possible if symptoms develop. If you have symptoms, getting tested for mpox and sexually transmitted infections is strong​​ly encouraged to help identify infections and prevent infections in others. Visit GetTested | CDC to find a testing location near you​.

If you have been exposed to mpox, monitoring for symptoms and avoiding sexual contact with others for 21 days is highly recommended. For people who haven't already ​been vaccinated, mpox vaccination is most effective when obtained as soon as possible after exposure and is strongly encouraged for at-risk patients to prevent severe illness. For more information visit CDPH Mpox Vaccine Q&A.

2-monkeypox-03.pngHOW IS IT PREVENTED?
There are number of ways to prevent the spread of MPX, including:
  • Getting vaccinated if you are at risk for mpox. See the CDPH mpox vaccine page to learn more about the JYNNEOS vaccine. Find a vaccine near you: Mpox Vaccine Locator​.
    • ​​The vaccine is most effective at preventing infection and serious illness two weeks after the second dose​.
  • Talking to your sexual partner(s) about any recent illness and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner's body, including on the genitals and on or around the anus.
  • Avoiding close contact, including hugging, kissing, cuddling, and sexual activity with people who have symptoms, like sores or rashes. Visit the CDPH Mpox Q&A about ways to reduce your chances of being exposed if you're sexually active.
  • Not sharing materials (e.g., towels, fetish gear, sex toys, and toothbrushes) with someone who has mpox.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Using appropriate PPE​ (like a mask, gown, and gloves) when caring for people with mpox.

Mpox vaccination helps protect against mpox when given before or shortly after exposure. Two mpox vaccines are currently available in the United States via the Strategic National Stockpile

The federal government has allocated JYNNEOS vaccine to Californians. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Local Health Departments to make this vaccine available to communities to provide protection against mpox.  

Although there are no longer any specific “eligibility” criteria for JYNNEOS vaccine, CDC​ and CDP​H continue to update recommendations for the prioritization of JYNNEOS vaccine among high-risk​ communities. Stay up to date on the latest information regarding vaccine strategies for mpox. 

Vaccine Resources for the General Public: