Anyone can get monkeypox. Monkeypox spreads in several ways. While Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it can spread through intimate and sexual contact. Currently, the majority of cases of monkeypox are circulating between individuals who have multiple or anonymous sex partners. 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 2-4 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.
How it Spreads
Monkeypox 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.
People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. Avoiding close contact such as sex, kissing, and cuddling is the best way for symptomatic individuals to prevent the further spread of monkeypox. Click here to learn more about reducing the spread of monkeypox.
Vaccines & Eligibility
Vaccines are available in limited supply, at no cost, to individuals who meet one of the following criteria:
- Those who have been in close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox in the last 14 days
- Men who have sex with men (MSM), or transgender individuals who report any of the following in the last 90 days:
- Multiple or anonymous sex partners
- Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
- Receiving HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Certian health care workers and public health response team members designated by public health authorities.
Individuals who meet one or more of these criteria may walk into the Buncombe County Health & Human Services Immunization Clinic at 40 Coxe Ave., Monday through Friday from 8 AM - 4:30 PM to get vaccinated. No appointment is needed.
Step One: Get Vaccinated
- A safe and effective vaccine is available to certian groups of people. Vaccines are availabe at the following locations:
- Buncombe County Health and Human Services: (828) 250-5300
- WNCCHS: (828) 285-0622
Step two: Look At It Before Getting Intimate
- Look and feel all over your body for a new bumpy/blistery rash. The monkeypox rash can be all over or in just one spot. Be sure to check your genitals and anus, hands, inside mouth, feet, and face. Ask your partners to do the same. Anyone experiencing symptoms should abstain and get tested for monkeypox.
- Testing and Treatment provided by the following organizations:
- WNCCHS- (828) 285-0622
- Buncombe County Health and Human Services (828) 250-5300
Step three: If You're Sick- STAY HOME!
- Monkeypox typically starts with flu-like symptoms followed by a rash a few days later. Symptomatic individuals should stay home and avoid close intimate contact with others until symptoms are resolved and rash has completely healed. Avoid in-person gatherings as well. Standard household cleaners and detergents are effective at cleaning environmental surfaces and linens.