Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Learn more About Monkeypox, Signs & Symptoms, How it Spreads, Vaccinations, and more.


Beginning in May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 50 countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States. Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

Learn more about Monkeypox with this 101 guide – Let's stay safe this summer
Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a rash. The rash can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks with a rash that looks like monkeypox. They should talk to their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox.


Monkeypox can spread from person to person through:

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids of an infected person
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta

Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts two-four weeks. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.


CDC does not recommend widespread vaccination against monkeypox at this time. However, vaccination may be recommended for some people who:

  • Are close personal contacts of people with monkeypox
  • May have been exposed to the virus
  • May have an increased risk of being exposed to the virus, such as people who perform laboratory testing to diagnose monkeypox

More information about considerations for monkeypox vaccination is available from CDC. More information about the national vaccination strategy is available from HHS.

Additional Information

For the most up-to-date number of monkeypox cases in Connecticut and throughout the United States,
please visit: 2022 U.S. Map & Case Count | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC

More information about monkeypox is also available from CDCFrequently Asked Questions | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC

Connecticut Department of Health CT – Monkeypox

5 Things Sexually Active People Need to Know About Monkeypox

Information for Health Professionals

Contact Information

For further inquiries about the Uncas Health District, interested parties can contact the Director of Health at (860) 823-1189.

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