On July 23rd, 2022, the World Health Organization declared Mpox a global emergency. Also on July 23rd, the CDC reported the first confirmed cases of MPOX in children.
The following Mpox updates and information is from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, released July 14, 2022:
The Mpox outbreak is growing in New York City, and the risk of exposure through sex and other close physical contact is increasing. ANYONE can get and spread Mpox. The current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, so this community is currently at the greatest risk of exposure. Those with multiple or anonymous sex partners are particularly at risk.
The Mpox virus is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus. It can also spread through contact with clothing, bedding, and other items used by a person with Mpox, or from respiratory droplets that can be passed in prolonged close contact. Transmission can occur during sex or other close physical contact, and direct contact with saliva, respiratory secretions (snot, mucus) and areas around the anus, rectum, or vagina.
The most common symptom is a rash or sores that can look like pimples or blisters. These may be all over the body or just in certain parts, such as the face, hands, or feet, or around or inside the mouth, genitals or anus. The rash and sores can be quite itchy and painful and cause scarring and other complications. Before or at the same time the rash or sores appear, some people have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and tiredness. In some cases, Mpox can cause severe illness. A person is contagious until all sores have healed, and a new layer of skin has formed, which can take two to four weeks.
If you have symptoms of Mpox, you should see a health care provider for testing; only your healthcare provider can test for Mpox. If you are in NYC and do not have a provider, call 311 or search the NYC Health Map. You should only get tested for Mpox if you are experiencing symptoms. Testing involves a provider taking a swab of a sore. Only your provider — not the Health Department — can give you the test result. While you are waiting for your test result, which can take a few days, isolate yourself from others.
Prevention and care:
To reduce the chance of getting or spreading Mpox, do not engage in sex or other close physical contact (such as touching, massage, or kissing) if you or your partners are sick, and especially if you or they have a new or unexpected rash or sores anywhere on the body. Avoid gatherings and direct contact with others if you are unwell or have a rash or sores. Wash your hands, sex toys and bedding before and after sex or other intimate activities. As more New Yorkers are diagnosed with Mpox, it is crucial to seek care as soon as you notice a rash or sores. People who receive the vaccine should continue to take these precautions to prevent transmission of Mpox.
The JYNNEOSTM vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of Mpox in people ages 18 and older. People who receive the vaccine should continue to take precautions to prevent transmission of Mpox. The vaccine is given as two doses, at least four weeks apart. The following is the NYC vaccination portal: