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Mpox is a disease caused by infection with the mpox virus. Mpox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus. Mpox is not related to chickenpox.
Signs and Symptoms
Mpox is contagious when a rash is present and up until scabs have fallen off. Symptoms generally appear one to two weeks after exposure and infection, and the rash often lasts two to four weeks. Persons experiencing mpox symptoms should contact their health care provider for evaluation. While many of those affected in the current global outbreaks are men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has mpox can get the illness.
There are no treatments specifically for mpox infections. However, mpox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat mpox infections.
States are receiving vaccine allocations from the Strategic National Stockpile in accordance with the number of mpox cases and the size of the underlying at-risk population. Michigan has received a limited supply of the vaccine, JYNNEOS. Additional limited allocations will follow in the next few months, but specific quantities and timelines are not yet known. The federal government continues to purchase vaccine, but JYNNEOS is not likely to become broadly available in the near-term.
A local health department may initiate contact with eligible individuals who have been identified as a close contact to an mpox case about receiving the vaccine. If you know you have had a contact with someone with mpox please contact your local health department for more information. Information about federal vaccine allocations is available online and will be updated every Wednesday. There is no cost for the vaccine – it is free for anyone who is eligible.
Treatments for mpox have not been pre-deployed to states by the CDC and will continue to be available through the Strategic National Stockpile. Clinicians evaluating mpox patients should be aware of the clinical considerations and process of requesting TPOXX (Tecovirimat) for their patients.