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Mpox is a reportable disease in Oklahoma as an unusual condition. Mpox is a rare illness that causes rash, chills, and fever. It is caused by the mpox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox. In the United States, the first outbreak of the virus occurred in June 2003 among dozens of people who became infected by contact with pet prairie dogs that had contact with imported African rodents.

Mpox virus usually occurs in central and western Africa in animals such as monkeys, squirrels, and rats. Mpox may spread to people when they are bitten by or touch the blood, other body fluids, or rash of an animal infected with mpox. Sometimes, mpox is spread from one person to another through very close contact or by touching body fluids of a person with mpox. Objects, such as bedding or clothing, contaminated with the virus may also spread mpox.

Symptoms of mpox in animals may include fever, cough, eye discharge, swollen lymph nodes (seen as swelling in the limbs), and a bumpy or blistery rash. Infected pets may also appear very tired and may not eat or drink.

Symptoms in humans develop about 12 days after infection and include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, and swollen lymph nodes. A rash that turns into fluid-filled bumps develops about three days after the fever. The bumps later form a crust and fall off. The illness can last up to a month.

  • Anyone who identifies as a gay or bisexual man, man who has sex with men, or transgender person and has engaged in the following within the past 14 days or plans to engage in these activities soon:
    • Sex with two or more partners.
    • Sex at a commercial sex venue.
    • Sex in association with an event or venue.
    • Sex in a geographical area where mpox is circulating in the community at high levels.
  • Persons with an HIV diagnosis
  • Any man who has sex with men and has had a syphilis diagnosis within the last 12 months
  • Persons in a high-risk occupation, such as, sex professionals or persons who exchange sex for drugs, money, housing, or safety.
  • Persons who have had skin-to-skin contact with a person diagnosed with mpox.
  • Persons who have had sex or other skin-to-skin contact at an event/venue in which mpox cases have been linked.
  • Women who are currently having sexual contact with a person who identifies as gay, a bisexual man, or a man who has sex with men
  • Healthcare workers providing direct patient care to persons who may be infected with mpox
  • Urgent care providers who provide direct patient care
  • Emergency room providers who provide direct patient care
  • Laboratory workers working with mpox specimens
  • Healthcare workers diagnosing and/or treating patients with STIs
  • Any person diagnosed with syphilis in the previous 12 months
  • Any partner of an individual who has been diagnosed with syphilis in the previous 12 months

Mpox is a reportable disease in Oklahoma. 

There is a vaccine available for release from the CDC that can help protect against monkeypox in individuals who are at high risk of developing disease after exposure.

To review current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations regarding mpox vaccinations, follow this link:

If you think you have monkeypox contact your health care provider for advice, testing and medical care. Self-isolate away from others to protect them from infection. Cover all possible blisters (e.g., wearing clothing over the rash). Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Practice good hand hygiene after touching any blisters by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Mpox may cause fever and swollen lymph nodes. Headache, muscle ad backache, chills and exhaustion can also be present. A painful rash develops and goes through several stages including fluid and pus-filled blisters that eventually get crusty, scab over and fall off.


Resources for healthcare settings