Mpox is a viral infection first identified in 1958. Historically, cases were rarely seen in people who have not traveled to Central or West Africa, where the virus is endemic (regularly found). However, since May 2022, there has been an uptick in cases among people who have not visited Africa, including in Europe and North America, and here in California. Currently, the risk of getting mpox is low for the public. For more information, visit CDPH's Mpox homepage and Q&A.
How it's Spread
Mpox is primarily spread by close physical contact (hugging, kissing, intimate/ sexual contact) with someone who has symptoms. It can also spread by sharing items (clothing, towels, bedding) used by someone who has symptoms or through lengthy face-to-face interaction with someone who has symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
The virus can cause flu-like symptoms and/or a distinct rash that can be bumpy or fluid-filled on the face, body, genitals, arms, and legs. Rash and sores may also be limited to one part of the body.
If you have symptoms, isolate from others and contact a health care provider right away to get tested and learn about treatment options. If you've been exposed, reach out to a health care provider or
your local health department to ask about vaccination.