This page last updated on November 29, 2022.

In summer 2022, multiple cases of mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) were reported in several countries that don’t normally report mpox, including the United States. As of November 29, 15 people have tested positive for mpox in Dane County, and there has not been a new case since September. 

Mpox Vaccination

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Learn the Basics

Mpox is a rare disease that has been around for several decades.

  • Mpox was first discovered in 1958 among monkeys. The first human case was recorded in 1970.
  • Smallpox vaccines work on mpox. If someone has confirmed, high-risk exposure, the smallpox vaccine can be given within four days to help prevent disease.
  • Most people recover from mpox without treatment or hospitalization. There are effective treatments for people with severe mpox.
  • The strain of the mpox virus that is spreading with the current outbreak is rarely deadly. Nearly everyone who gets this form of the disease will survive. However, people with weakened immune systems, children under 8 years of age, people with a history of eczema, and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be more likely to get very sick or die. While this strain is rarely deadly, the symptoms can be extremely painful, and people might have permanent scarring resulting from the rash.
Listen to the recording from our Mpox Town Hall to ​​​hear medical experts answer common mpox questions (originally recorded October 4, 2022). 

Signs and Symptoms of Mpox

Symptoms of mpox can include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • 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 the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. Look at pictures of the pox on CDC's website.

The mpox rash usually develops within one to three days after fever. However, some people may experience a rash or sores first, followed by other symptoms. Some people may also only develop a rash.

Call your doctor if you have symptoms of mpox.

Know Your Risk

  • While anyone can get mpox, most cases are associated with specific social networks, including men who have sex with men.

  • Mpox is not easily spread. Mpox can spread through direct skin contact with someone with a rash, contact with objects or surfaces used by someone with mpox, or respiratory droplets or oral fluids from someone with mpox. Since the mpox rash is very distinct, most people with mpox isolate soon after their symptom onset and spread it to few or no other people.
  • Learn more about lowering your risk in CDC's fact sheet, Safer Sex, Social Gatherings, and Mpox.
  • Below is a video from CDC with ways to reduce risk:

Materials & Resources to Learn More