Monkey Pox | doh

Monkeypox (MPX) is a rare but potentially serious viral disease that can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with body fluid or monkeypox lesions.

Register in advance for a vaccine appointment

You can now pre-register for your monkeypox vaccine appointment.

2022 Outbreak Information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the United States on May 18, 2022. In May 2022, Massachusetts confirmed a case of monkeypox in a patient with recent travel to Canada; Texas and Maryland reported a case in 2021 in people who had recently traveled to Nigeria. Since the beginning of May 2022, the United Kingdom has identified nine cases of monkeypox; the first case had recently traveled to Nigeria. None of the other cases reported recent travel.

On May 26, 2022, DC Health issued a health advisory for healthcare providers in DC with clinical recommendations and reporting requirements for all suspected cases.

On June 4, 2022, the District of Columbia Public Health Laboratory confirmed the first positive case of orthopoxvirus in a county resident who reported recent travel to Europe.

On June 27, 2022, DC Health announced eligibility criteria for monkeypox vaccinations in the District.

2022 D.C. Epidemic Data

Number of cases

About monkeypox

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. The first case of monkeypox in humans was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during a concentrated effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in humans in several other countries in Central and West Africa.

Human cases of monkeypox have occurred outside Africa associated with international travel or imported animals, including cases in the US.


In humans, the symptoms of monkeypox can be similar to, but milder than, those of smallpox.

Symptoms may begin with:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • back pains
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion

Within 1-3 days (sometimes longer) after the onset of fever, the patient develops a rash that often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. The rash can progress from flat and red to a bump, to fluid-filled, to pus-filled, and then to scabbing.

Symptoms usually appear between 7-14 days after exposure, but can vary between 5-21 days. The illness usually lasts between 2-4 weeks.


Monkeypox virus can be spread when a person comes into contact with the virus from an infected animal, an infected person, or materials contaminated with the virus. The monkeypox virus can be spread from animals to humans by being bitten or scratched by an infected animal, by handling wild game, or by using products made from infected animals. The virus can also be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids or wounds of an infected person, or with materials that have touched bodily fluids or wounds, such as clothing or underwear.

Monkeypox is spread between humans primarily through direct contact with infected wounds, scabs, or body fluids. It can also be spread through respiratory secretions with prolonged face-to-face contact. Monkeypox can be spread during intimate contact between people, including during sex, as well as activities such as kissing, cuddling, or touching body parts with monkeypox sores.


There are a number of measures that should be taken to prevent infection with the monkeypox virus:

  • Avoid coming into contact with people recently diagnosed with the virus or those who may have been infected.
  • Wear a face mask if you are in close contact with someone who has symptoms.
  • Practice good hand hygiene, especially after coming into contact with—or suspected—infected people. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Use personal protective equipment when caring for patients with confirmed or suspected monkeypox infection.


There is no specific treatment for monkeypox virus infections. However, the monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat infections with the monkeypox virus.

JYNNEOSTM (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) is a live attenuated virus vaccine that is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox.

If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you’ve had contact with someone who has monkeypox.

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible if you are:

DC resident 18 years of age or older


  • Gay, bisexual and other men aged 18 and over who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the past 14 days); OR
  • Transgender women and non-binary individuals identified as male at birth who have sex with men; OR
  • Sex workers (of any gender); OR
  • Staff (of any gender) in establishments where there is sexual activity (eg baths, saunas, sex clubs).

Proof of residency is required prior to vaccination. Includes:

  • ID card with DC address
  • utility bill or other mail with your name and DC address
  • current DC lease or mortgage with your name on it

Additional documents:

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