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Mpox (Monkeypox):  Frequently Asked Questions

Mpox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Since May 2022, cases of Mpox have been identified in the U.S. Anyone can get Mpox regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity; currently, men who have sex with men are overrepresented in the number of cases. For information on the current outbreak in Minnesota, including data on current confirmed cases, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.


  • Symptoms develop within 5-21 days weeks after exposure.
  • Symptoms may include chills, fever, swollen glands, headache and body aches (not always).
  • The most common symptom is a rash, which begins flat and progresses to bumps which become fluid filled (poxes). The rash can be on any part of the body including inside the mouth, anus, or on the genitals.  
  • A person is considered contagious until scabs fall off and fresh skin forms. This usually takes 2-4 weeks.  
  • Mpox rash/lesions may resemble STI infections such as herpes or syphilis.

How Mpox Spreads

  • Direct body fluids or skin to skin contact, most commonly through sex, hugging, and kissing.
  • It is possible to transmit via respiratory particles, but this mode of transmission requires prolonged exposure.
  • Contact with contaminated clothing or bedding.
  • Animal-human transmission through a bite, scratch, or bodily fluids.

Protecting yourself and those around you

  • Avoid close skin-to-skin contact and sex with those who are unsure of infection status.
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners may reduce risk of transmission. 
  • Talk with partners about any symptoms of concern, such as recent illness or unexplained rash (especially in the mouth, genitals, or anus).
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of someone with Mpox or unknown rash.
  • Do not hug, cuddle, or have sex with someone with Mpox.
  • Do not handle or share eating utensils, cups, bedding, clothing, towels, cigarettes, vapes, etc. with a person with Mpox.
  • Wash hands with soap and water often.

What to do if you think you may be exposed/have symptoms 

  • Mask and seek testing (see below: Where to get testing).
  • Avoid close skin to skin contact with others.
  • Do not share cups, utensils, sheet, or towels.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Cover weeping lesions if they develop.

Where to get testing

The following locations offer testing for Mpox. Please make an appointment with a medical provider at Hamre if you’d like to discuss testing results and next steps. They are ready to help.

Family Tree (612) 473-0800
1919 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

The Good Clinic (651) 650-0300
246 Snelling Ave S Suite 1, St. Paul 

Red Door Clinic/Hennepin County Public Health (651-543-555)
525 Portland Ave South Minneapolis

Clinic 555/Ramsey County Public Health (651-266-1352)
555 Cedar Street St. Paul

Refer to the Family Planning Directory for publicly funded testing locations

Where to get treatment

Although there is no specific treatment for Mpox, most symptoms are mild and resolve without medication. Some people may benefit with an antiviral medication (Tecovirimat). Talk with a health care provider if you would like to explore this option. 


Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is working with local public health departments to reach those at high risk. Continue to check MDH resources for updates on vaccine availability and criteria for vaccination.

Currently, criteria include: 

Exposure in the last 14 days to either someone diagnosed with Mpox or someone who has not received test results but told by provider most likely they have Mpox.


Identify as gay, bisexual, and/or a man who has sex with men (MSM) and have one of the following:

  • Attended an event within 14 days where intimate sexual contact with more that one partner occurred.
  • Intimate sexual contact with one or more partners in past 14 days and the following: HIV, immunocompromised, or additional possible risks identified by provider, such as travel to endemic area, incarceration, homelessness, etc.

Contact MDH at 651-201-5414 to speak with officials to assess your risk and possible eligibility for vaccination. 

Red Door Clinic: 

Vaccine availability is improving, and more people are now eligible. Please call the Red Door Clinic at 612-543-5555 for more information about getting the Mpox vaccine.

Following MDH guidelines, Red Door Clinic is prioritizing the following people for Mpox vaccination, regardless of the number of sexual partners:

  • People who have been exposed to Mpox
  • People living with HIV
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Transgender people
  • And others who are at high risk

Additional Resources

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) website:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:

Mpox Vaccine Locator:

Columbia University’s Go Ask Alice!

Updated June 2023 Nicola Michael-Tsai