Monkeypox: What to Know

Getting You the Right Information

With so much surrounding mpox (monkeypox) in the news, it can be hard to know what to listen to. Here you can find resources, information, and testing and vaccination eligibility. 

What is mpox?

Mpox (monkeypox) is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus, from the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Symptoms of mpox are similar to those of smallpox but milder. 

Mpox symptoms include a rash around the genitals, anus, or other body parts such as the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The rash can look like pimples or blisters and will go through several stages before scabbing and healing. Other symptoms include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, and fatigue.

Symptoms usually begin within three weeks of exposure and can last two-four weeks.

If you have symptoms, avoid close contact with others, especially intimate partners, until you have been seen by your healthcare provider. Learn more about mpox and its symptoms.


Skin swab tests can be taken to determine whether a person has the mpox virus. Tests are available at NHC. To prevent the spread of mpox, when you call to make a testing appointment, please let your care team know you would like to get tested for mpox. Some precautions will be required for your visit, and you will be asked to cover any sores or blisters with clothing or bandages to prevent the spread of infection to others.


NHC has a very limited supply of mpox vaccines for high-risk patients.  Vaccines are also available directly through county health departments.  Contact your provider if you are at high-risk, have been exposed, and need a vaccine.  Please be advised, the supply of these vaccines is quite low across the Portland metro area.

You are eligible if you:

  • Have been identified by a public health official as a contact of someone with mpox
  • Have had close contact with someone with mpox
  • Are a laboratory worker who routinely performs mpox virus testing
  • Are a clinician who has a high-risk occupational exposure (e.g., examining mpox lesions or collecting monkeypox specimens without using recommended personal protective equipment)
  • Anticipate having or have had recent direct skin-to-skin contact with at least one other person AND know other people in your social circles or communities who have had mpox

It is recommended post-exposure vaccination series start within 3-14 days of exposure.