If you start experiencing mpox symptoms, even if they are mild, talk to your health care provider immediately. A provider can check your symptoms and order testing.
If you do not have a health care provider, call 311 or search the NYC Health Map.
You should take these precautions until all mpox sores have healed and a new layer of skin has formed (usually two to four weeks after sores first appeared):
If you do not have a fever, chills or respiratory symptoms, you can be around others at home or outside the home. However, everyone that has mpox should take these precautions when around others:
Even after you are better, use a latex or polyurethane condom during sex for the next eight weeks. This will help protect your partners in case the virus can be transmitted by semen (experts are still studying whether that is possible).
If you have mpox symptoms, you may be required to stay out of work until your sores have healed. Talk to your employer.
You should isolate at home and avoid all contact with others if your symptoms include fever, chills or respiratory symptoms (such as cough, sneezing, runny nose and sore throat), until these symptoms go away without taking any fever-reducing or other medicine. Avoid contact with family members and having nonessential visitors in your home. If you cannot stay in a separate room from others at home, or if you must leave home for essential needs, take the precautions described above.
You do not need to isolate if you do not have a fever, chills or respiratory symptoms and you follow the precautions above.
To safely clean and do your laundry while you have mpox:
There is no specific treatment approved for mpox. Most people get better on their own without treatment. However, antivirals for smallpox may help people who have severe symptoms or are at high risk for severe illness. Your provider will help you find out if you are eligible for antiviral treatment. They may be able to prescribe mouthwash, gels and other medicines to help with pain, swelling and itchiness.
Your provider can find information about accessing treatments online. If you do not have a provider, call Virtual Express Care at 631-397-2273 or visit the Express Care website. Care is available in New York City regardless of immigration status, insurance coverage or ability to pay.
Ask your provider or pharmacist for assistance choosing over-the-counter medicines. Read and closely follow any instructions on the medicine box and package insert, including about dose, frequency of use, who should not take or use the medicine, and allergies.
Here are some more ways to help you reduce symptoms:
The following may increase your risk for severe illness if you are infected with mpox: HIV; other conditions that weaken your immune system; and a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema. If you have one of these conditions and mpox symptoms, it is especially important to see a provider right away.
Severe illness due to mpox may include a fever, rapid increase in the number of sores, confusion, stiff neck, difficulty breathing, seizure, diarrhea and vomiting. Contact your provider if your symptoms get worse, including increases in pain, redness or swelling; if you have cloudy or milky fluid at the site of the sores; or if your pain interferes with eating, sitting or going to the bathroom.
If you do not have a provider, call 311 or search the NYC Health Map. If it is an emergency, call 911 or go to the hospital.