Who is at risk of getting Mpox
The threat of mpox to Houston’s population currently remains low. The outbreak currently is largely affecting gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. However, anyone can get mpox from having either prolonged face-to-face contact or sex with someone infected with mpox. Contact with items such as clothing or linens that previously touched an infected person’s rash or body fluids is another way mpox can spread. Below are the top three things you need to know now.
Learn to recognize the symptoms
A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks. It can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash fully heals and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash. Symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after infection.
Know your risks
Close face-to-face contact
Mpox can spread from an infected person to a healthy person by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.
Even though it is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, mpox can spread during intimate physical contact between people. This contact can happen when you have sex, including:
- Oral, anal, and vaginal sex, or touching the genitals or anus of a person with mpox
- Hugging, massage, kissing or talking closely
- Touching fabrics, shared surfaces, and objects, such as bedding, towels and sex toys, that were used by a person with mpox
Talk frankly with your partner or partners before having sex and ask if they are experiencing any mpox symptoms.
People who suspect that they have mpox symptoms such as new unexplained rash or sores need to contact their doctor to set up a screening appointment. For more information about monkeypox, prevention tips and resources, visit houstonhealth.org or call the department’s call center at 832-393-4220.