What is Monkeypox (MPX)?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It spreads mostly through close contact with skin lesions or bodily fluids. It is MUCH less contagious than COVID and many other viruses. The sores caused by the disease can be painful for those infected, but most people fully recover in a few weeks.
Anyone can get monkeypox through close, personal contact with an infected person. Most cases are primarily spread through sex and other intimate contact. People in social circles who have multiple or anonymous sex partners are at a high risk of exposure. Here are some suggestions to minimize risk:
- Reduce your number of sexual partners, especially if you do not know their recent sexual history. Sex parties, circuit parties, and other places where people are having sex or close contact with unclothed people can increase your risk of exposure to MPX.
- Ask your partners if they have MPX symptoms or feel sick. If you or your partners are sick, especially if you or they have a new or unexpected rash or sore, do not have sex or close physical contact.
- If you do have sex or other intimate contact while sick, cover all rashes and sores with clothing or sealed bandages. This may reduce spread from contact with the rash or sores, but other methods of transmission may still be possible. Condom use may help prevent transmission from semen, but uncovered skin lesions can still be infectious.
- Do not share towels, clothing, fetish gear, sex toys, or toothbrushes.
- Wash your hands, fetish gear, and bedding. Sex toys should be washed after each use.
The signs and symptoms of monkeypox may include:
- body aches
- swollen lymph nodes
- rashes (Which look like pimples or blisters that may be painful or itchy.)
If you have any of the above symptoms, or think you may have been exposed to monkeypox, please call or send a message your SRCH provider to see if you need to be tested for the virus. Please inform us if you have a rash so we can schedule your visit appropriately.
While you are waiting to get help, take steps to care for yourself and others:
- Stay home and away from others.
- Call, text, or contact your sex partners and people you’ve had close contact with since the start of your symptoms.
- Isolate from any pets.
How do I get access to the MPX vaccine if I qualify?
Vaccine supply is limited. SRCH follows the MPX vaccine strategy set by public health departments of Sonoma County and California. At this time, we are prioritizing vaccination for individuals at highest risk to most effectively prevent spread in our communities.
If you have already received a first dose of the Jynneos vaccine, you will be contacted about a second dose as soon as sufficient supply is received. You do not need to restart the series if more than four weeks (and up to two years) have passed since your first dose.
SRCH has protocols in place to prevent and respond to infectious diseases and outbreaks. Safety remains our top priority. If you need more information, please call or send a web message to SRCH.