Monkeypox is a contagious disease caused by the monkeypox virus, also known as orthopoxvirus. There is currently an outbreak of monkeypox in the United States and other countries where the virus is not usually seen.

Anyone can get and spread monkeypox. The current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, so this community is currently at greater risk of exposure.

The monkeypox virus is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus. It can also spread through contact with clothing, bedding, and other items used by a person with monkeypox, or from respiratory droplets that can be passed through prolonged face-to-face contact. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.

There is no specific treatment approved for monkeypox. Most people get better on their own without treatment. However, antivirals developed for use in patients with smallpox may prove beneficial.

If you have a new or unexpected rash or other symptoms of monkeypox, contact a health care provider. A provider will check your symptoms and may order testing. If you do not have a health care provider, visit the Find a Doctor page.

Learn more about monkeypox.

  • Agency: Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Division: Monkeypox and COVID-19 Hotline
  • Phone Number: (855) 491-2667
  • Business Hours: Daily: 9 AM - 9 PM

Symptoms usually start seven to 14 days after exposure, but in some cases they may not appear for up to 21 days.

The most common symptom is a rash or sores that can look like pimples or blisters. These may be all over the body or just in certain parts, such as the face, hands, or feet, as well as on or inside the mouth, genitals, or anus. They can last for two to four weeks.

Before or at the same time when the rash or sores appear, people may have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and tiredness. In some cases, monkeypox can cause severe illness.

If you think you have symptoms, separate from others and contact a health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, visit the Find a Doctor page.

There are currently no appointments or walk-ins available to get the monkeypox vaccine. The City expects to receive more doses of vaccine shortly and will make appointments available soon. 

Vaccination will soon be available by appointment only for eligible New Yorkers who may have been recently exposed to monkeypox. Gay, bisexual, and other men ages 18 and older who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days are eligible to receive the vaccine.

Vaccination is free and available regardless of immigration status. This vaccine has been approved by the FDA for the prevention of monkeypox in people ages 18 and older.

People who have a fever, rash, or sores that may be monkeypox cannot get vaccinated. Instead, they should separate from others and contact a health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, visit the Find a Doctor page.

Learn more about monkeypox vaccines.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has a dedicated phone line for use by doctors, nurses, and other health care providers.

If you are a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider, you can get information about monkeypox, including:

  • Risks
  • Symptoms
  • Testing
  • Treatment

You can also report a possible case of monkeypox.

Call 311 for assistance by phone.

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