What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus not commonly seen in the United States. However, there is an ongoing, global outbreak and monkeypox cases have been found in the United States, including in Nevada.
Monkeypox virus is related to the virus that causes smallpox, but monkeypox is less severe than smallpox and is rarely fatal. Monkeypox often causes a painful or itchy rash and sometimes causes flu-like symptoms like fever, headache, muscle aches, or other symptoms. Monkeypox virus is not related to chickenpox.
Anyone can get monkeypox. Many of the cases reported during the current outbreak have been among gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men. Following the recommended prevention steps can help protect you and your community.
Number of Monkeypox Cases in Nevada
Monkeypox dashboard under construction. Check back soon.
- Visit your local public health authority’s website to find out about cases in your community:
Symptoms of Monkeypox
Monkeypox often causes a characteristic rash. The rash can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, on the hands, feet, chest, genitals, anus or other parts of the body. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely.
Below are a few examples of monkeypox rash in different stages:
- If you have a rash or other symptoms that concern you, contact a health care provider.
Sometimes monkeypox causes other symptoms. Monkeypox can also cause other symptoms, like fever, headache, muscle aches, back ache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion. Sometimes people get a rash first followed by other symptoms and sometimes people have flu-like symptoms a few days before the rash appears. Others only experience a rash without other symptoms. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
A person with monkeypox is contagious while they have symptoms. Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, which is when all scabs have fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed.
How Monkeypox Spreads
Monkeypox spreads in a few ways, as described below.
- During prolonged face-to-face or intimate physical contact with someone who has monkeypox.
- Through direct contact with rash, scabs, or body fluids of someone who has monkeypox.
- By touching items like clothing, towels, or bedsheets after being touched by rash or body fluids of someone who has monkeypox.
- Through the placenta from a pregnant woman who has monkeypox to a fetus.
- By being scratched or bitten by an infected animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
- Direct exposure to monkeypox 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 someone with monkeypox.
- Prolonged face-to-face contact with someone with monkeypox.
- Touching fabrics and objects that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.
Steps to Prevent the Spread of Monkeypox
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the following three simple measures to prevent spreading monkeypox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
- Wash your hands often.
If you have been diagnosed with (or think you might have) monkeypox
- Contact a health care provider or your local health department if you do not have a health care provider.
- Southern Nevada Health District (Clark County)
- 702-759-1300 (24 hours)
- Washoe County Health District
- 775-328-2447 (24 hours)
- Carson City Health and Human Services (Carson City, Douglas, Storey and Lyon counties)
- 775-887-2190 (24 hours)
- Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (all other NV counties)
- 775-684-5911 (M to F 8 am to 5 pm) or 775-400-0333 (after hours)
- Take care of yourself and others
If you think you have been exposed to monkeypox but do not have symptoms, it is still important to contact your health care provider or local health authority (see the information listed above)!