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Mpox (MPV/monkeypox) is a rare disease that is caused by the mpox virus. The virus is not commonly seen in the United States. However, on May 20, 2022, the CDC issued a Health Advisory regarding recent cases in the United States. Mpox does not spread easily between people. Cases in this outbreak are predominately spread through close contact, specifically intimate contact, but anyone can get mpox.

Community Level Risk

While there have been mpox cases in Winnebago County, the risk to Winnebago County residents remains low.

How MPOX Spreads

Mpox spreads in different ways including:

  • Direct contact with mpox rash, sores, scabs, or body fluids
  • Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously used by someone with mpox
  • Respiratory droplets during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • From infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.

Mpox can be spread from when symptoms start until all sores have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks.

The majority of cases seen throughout Illinois and the United States have been spread through direct intimate contact with a rash or sore on someone infected with mpox. Activities that can spread mpox include kissing, sex, or other activities with skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the mpox virus.


  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash or sores, sometimes located on or near the genitals or anus, or the mouth, hands, feet, chest or face. Sores will go through several stages before healing.

What The Public Can Do

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone with mpox
  • Don’t share bedding, clothing, towels, personal items, or with someone with mpox
  • Do not have sex if you or you sex partner(s) feel sick or have a rash or sores and do not kiss or touch each other’s bodies while you are sick.
  • Call your healthcare provider if you have new or unexplained rash, sores, or other mpox symptoms.

Vaccine Information:

  • The Winnebaog County Health Department has received a limited supply of mpox vaccine and will be administering to those in the community most at risk
  • The mpox vaccine is not currently recommended for the general public.
  • Mpox vaccine is available for those 18 years and older who:
    • Have had close contact with someone who has mpox
    • Area a man who has sex with men (MSM) gay, bisexual, transgender, or nonbinary
    • Have exchanged goods services for sex in the past 6 months
    • Are eligible for or taking PrEP to help prevent HIV
    • Are living with HIV
    • Are anticipating experiencing the above risks
    • Have sexual partner with the above risks
  • Click here to register for the mpox vaccine (Registration does not guarantee vaccination.)
MPV - schedule your MPV vaccine

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