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Florida Department of Health - St. Johns County

  •  904-506-6081

    Mailing Address

    200 San Sebastian View 


    Saint Augustine, Florida 32084 

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus that occurs mostly in central and western Africa. However, monkeypox infections also occur in other parts of the world. The monkeypox virus can be transmitted from animals to humans. These animals include different African rodents and monkeys. Once a person becomes infected with the monkeypox virus they can pass it to other people. Monkeypox is not a very contagious disease, and the risk of contracting monkeypox is generally low. Recently there has been an increase in human monkeypox infections in different parts of the world, including the US.

Visual Examples of Monkeypox rash. Photo Credit: UK Health Security Agency & CDC
View Larger Image — CDC

  • Signs and Symptoms
  • How it Spreads
  • Prevention and Treatment
  • Information for Health Care Providers
  • Resources

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.

Content Source:

Content Last Update Date: August 5, 2022

According to the CDC - Monkeypox spreads in a few ways.

Close or Intimate Contact

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, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.

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 and Pregnancy

A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

Infected Animals

It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.

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.

Content Source: 

Content Last Update Date: July 29, 2022

The risk of monkeypox to the general public is usually low. Vaccines used for smallpox have been shown to be effective in preventing monkeypox. For people who become infected, are exposed to people diagnosed with monkeypox, or have a job that puts them at risk for monkeypox, they should contact their health care provider. If you become infected, avoid contact with people and pets—stay isolated from others and animals as much as possible.

General Recommendations for the prevention  and treatment  monkeypox include the following:

  • Vaccination is recommended if started within 14 days of exposure to a person infected with monkeypox.
  • Vaccination is recommended for people with certain job-related risks such as public health laboratory staff.
  • Antiviral medications that were developed for use in patients with smallpox may be beneficial for people with confirmed monkeypox infection.

How to Protect Yourself

CDC — Monkeypox Prevention Steps

Take the following three steps to prevent getting monkeypox:

  1. Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
  2. Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  3. Wash your hands often.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.

More CDC Prevention information about Safer Sex & Social Gatherings or Pets & Monkeypox is available at Last Reviewed Date: August 24, 2022

HHS Press Release

Biden-Harris Administration Makes Hundreds of Thousands More Vaccine Doses Available to Support Monkeypox Response

Read the Press Release

For health care providers and household contacts of people with monkeypox, preventive vaccine location information is available through the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County (DOH-St. Johns).

If health care providers in St. Johns County suspect a possible case of monkeypox, immediately contact DOH-St. Johns or the 24/7 disease reporting hotline at 850-245-4401. DOH - St. Johns can help providers obtain monkeypox virus-specific real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

Health care providers should remain vigilant of information related to monkeypox:

* The cases of monkeypox described in the current outbreak have some atypical features. These features of the newest monkeypox cases can easily be confused with sexually transmitted infections (STI). It is important to comprehensively evaluate patients presenting with genital or perianal ulcers for STIs. However, co-infections with monkeypox and STIs have been reported and the presence of an STI does not rule out monkeypox. Patients with a new characteristic rash or who meet one or more of the epidemiologic criteria and in which there is a high suspicion should be tested for monkeypox.

Visit CDC.Gov for more Information For Healthcare Professionals. Last Reviewed Date: August 24, 2022

What To Do If You Suspect Monkeypox

MONKEYPOX. What to do if you suspect Monkeypox. Photo Credit:  

What To Do If you Suspect Monkeypox [PDF–2 MB]

Date: 8/23/22

Testing Patients for Monkeypox

Testing patients for monkeypox. Photo Credit:

Testing Patients for Monkeypox
[PDF–1 MB]

Date: 8/19/22


Monkeypox Information for Teens and Young Adults

  Monkeypox. What you need to know about monkeypox if you are a teen or young adult.

Monkeypox Information for Teens and Young Adults [PDF–4.9 MB]

Date: 8/19/22

Alternative Languages:
Spanish[PDF–5 MB]

Learn About Monkeypox and Safer Sex

  Monkeypox and safer sex

Learn about Monkeypox and Safer Sex [PDF–96 KB]

Date: 8/5/22

Alternative Languages:
Spanish [PDF–2 MB]

Additional Resources: Last Reviewed Date: August 24, 2022

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