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    Human​ Mpox

    MDH is updating web pages with the term “mpox” to reduce stigma and other issues associated with prior terminology. This change is aligned with the recent World Health Organization decision and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is working with partners to monitor the 2022 global human mpox outbreak and provide information to residents. Check this page for updates and follow us at https://www.instagram.com/MDHealthDept, http://www.twitter.com/MDHealthDept, and https://www.facebook.com/MDHealthDept.​

    Find Mpox Vaccine​ Information: Please note that due to the increased availability and eligibility of the Jynneos mpox vaccine, the Maryland Department of Health’s pre-registration system will no longer be active as of January 20, 2023.

    Go to Mpox Information for Providers

     ​​​Maryland Mpox Summary​

    This dashboard will be updated weekly on Wednesdays


    Human mpox is a rare but serious illness caused by infection with the mpox virus. It can infect humans and other animals, such as monkeys and rodents. Most people who get mpox recover without any serious complications or the need for medical treatment. 

    People living with a condition that weakens the immune system, such as advanced or untreated HIV, AIDS, certain cancers, an organ transplant, or another immune deficiency disorder, may be more likely to have serious complications or need treatment. Getting vaccinated can protect against getting mpox, or can reduce the severity of illness if you do get mpox. 

    Historically, most human cases of mpox have been identified in Central and West Africa. Rarely, human mpox cases have been identified outside of Central or West Africa, though many cases reported links to those regions, either through travel or exposure to humans or animals that had been infected in those areas. 

    In May 2022, several clusters of human mpox cases were reported in countries that don't normally report human mpox, including the United States. It's not clear how the people were exposed to mpox, but early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has mpox is at risk, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

    On June 16, 2022, MDH reported a presumed human mpox virus infection in a Maryland resident. Please refer to the CDC website for current national case counts.

    Signs and Symptoms

    Symptoms of mpox can include:

    • ​Fever

    • Chills

    • Headache

    • Exhaustion

    • Swollen lymph nodes

    • Muscle aches and backache

    • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus

    The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.


    Mpox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person to person through:

    • ​Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids

    • During sex because mpox can be sexually transmissible

    • During other intimate physical contact, such as kissing, or cuddling

    • Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids

    • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta

    It’s possible that mpox might be transmitted by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. It’s also possible for people to get mpox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.

    Mpox 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 2-4 weeks. At this time, scientists are trying to understand:

    • If a person who doesn’t have mpox symptoms can spread the virus

    • How often mpox is spread through respiratory secretions, and at what stage of infection a person with mpox might be more likely to spread the virus through respiratory secretions

    • Whether mpox can be spread through semen, vaginal fluid, urine, or feces

    Mpox hasn’t been shown to spread from person to person through casual contact, like being in the same area, having casual conversation, or briefly touching shared items like doorknobs. Sharing items such as gym equipment or chairs is unlikely to expose people to mpox.



    ​Getting vaccinated is one of the most importa​nt ways to prevent mpox. If you’re interested in getting vaccinated to protect yourself from mpox, call your local health department. Getting the recommended 2 doses of vaccine 28 days apart offers the best protection from serious mpox illness. If you got one dose of the mpox vaccine and still need to receive your second dose, call the health care provider who provided your first dose or your local health department to make an appointment to receive your second dose.

    MDH has a ready supply of the mpox vaccine available to be provided to medical providers free of charge. If you’re an interested provider, please contact mpx.response@maryland.gov.

    Visit the CDC website to learn more about mpox vaccination.

    Prevention Measures​

    Take the following steps to prevent getting 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.

    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with mpox.

    • Do not handle or touch bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with mpox.

    • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

    • In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread mpox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, and bedding or other materials they have touched.

    If you are sick with mpox, follow CDC guidance on how to take care of yourself, recover, and avoid exposing others.​

    Visit the CDC website to learn more about mpox prevention.

    Testing and Treatment

    If you think you have mpox or have been exposed to mpox, contact your healthcare provider.   If you don’t have a  provider or insurance, visit health.maryland.gov/CSTIP/loca​l to find contact information for your local health department.

    Most people with mpox recover fully within 2 to 4 weeks without the need for medical treatment. Supportive care and pain control may be enough. If you are sick with mpox, talk to your healthcare provider. 

    Visit the CDC website to learn more about mpox testing and treatment.​

    Mpox Resources

    MDH Resources