2022 U.S. Mpox Outbreak
We are currently monitoring this evolving outbreak and are working with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure we stay up-to-date on any developments as they occur. For more information about symptoms of mpox and what people should know please view the information below and visit the CDC Mpox website.
Anyone can get mpox but many of the cases identified in the current outbreak have been in men who have sex with men, thanks in part to the vigilance of those who sought testing when concerns arose leading to the recognition that mpox was spreading in the U.S. The disease is accompanied by a rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, often with an earlier flu-like illness. The rash starts flat then becomes bumpy and fluid-filled before scabbing over and resolving. This happens over a period of 2 to 4 weeks. Rashes may be all over the body, including the palms, feet, and head, or located only on specific body parts such as the genitals or around the buttocks.
Mpox is transmitted from person to person through direct skin-to-skin contact, having contact with an infectious rash, through body fluids, or through respiratory secretions. Such contact often occurs during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.
Take the following steps to prevent getting mpox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with mpox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with mpox.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with mpox has used.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with mpox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with mpox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
Testing is widely available and encouraged if you had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with mpox, or have symptoms of mpox including unexplained bumps, sores, blisters, or pimples that look like mpox There is no shortage of testing supplies, and people with symptoms of mpox should contact their health care provider to get tested.
Vaccines are available at no cost, for individuals with known or suspected exposure to mpox.
- Anyone who had close contact in the past two weeks with someone who has been diagnosed with mpox
- Gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals, who are sexually active
- People who have had sexual contact with gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals in the past 90 days
- People living with HIV, or taking medication to prevent HIV (PrEP), or who were diagnosed with syphilis in the past 90 days:
- People who have had any of the following in the past 6 months
- Sex at a commercial sex venue
- Sex in association with a large public event
- Sexual partners of people with the above risks
- People who anticipate experiencing the above risks
Individuals who meet these criteria can call their local health department to make an appointment to receive the vaccine:
- Cumberland - 910-433-3600
- Buncombe - 828-250-5300
- Durham - 919-560-9217
- Forsyth - 336-703-3100
- Guilford - 336-641-3245
- Mecklenburg - 980-314-9400
- New Hanover - 910-798-6800
- Pitt - 252-902-2300
- Wake - 919-250-4462