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,, and​

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.​