What to do if you think you may have been exposed to monkeypox

Monkeypox: What we know so far

Monkeypox (hMPXV) is a disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is related to the smallpox virus. While it's usually less severe and contagious than smallpox, monkeypox can be unpleasant. Occasionally, it can be serious.

Before 2022, monkeypox was not seen in the United States often, but it's common in other parts of the world.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the disease is not a sexually transmitted infection. However, it is spread through close, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with people who have symptoms such as a rash or lesions.

What should I do if I think I've been exposed to monkeypox?

Check your temperature twice a day, and watch for symptoms for 21 days after exposure. Symptoms can start anywhere between day 5 and day 21.

When given after exposure but before the appearance of a rash, vaccine may prevent infection, reduce how long symptoms last or make them less severe.

Call your primary care provider's office. They can help you determine if you are a good candidate for vaccine.

If your provider's office advises getting vaccinated, call your county health department:
Marion — 503-588-5357
Polk — 503-623-8175

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For the most up-to-date information, visit:

Oregon Health Authority (OHA)

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Symptoms of monkeypox

New rash

Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher

Swollen lymph glands


If you get these symptoms, isolate yourself and follow the steps below.