Monkeypox Information

Click here for the latest information from the Department of Public health. IF YOU ARE SICK, STAY IN! 

Click here for World Health Organization (WHO) advice for MSM with FAQs about MPOX.

  • Outer Cape Health Services: 508.905.2888 for vaccine appointments. Click here for MPOX vaccine information. 
  • Click here for information provided by the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod.
  • Click here for safer sex guidance,  here for social gathering and more sex information and here for CDC situation summary.
  • Click here for MPOX U.S. map and case count per state. The state is not identifying individuals or their town or county locations.

Here is the recording of 6/28/22 Provincetown MPV Prevention Public Awareness Forum  with MA Department of Public Health representatives! Due to an increasing number of MPOX cases nationally and state-wide, Provincetown initiated a multi-agency effort to educate the public about the risk factors, symptoms, and MPOX transmission. The town has been working with local healthcare providers, the legislative delegation, Barnstable County, and state officials to identify and promote best practices for MPOX awareness and prevention amongst Cape Cod residents, local businesses, and visitors. Although MPOX case numbers among  the general population remain low, officials believe early awareness and proactive public outreach are integral to inhibiting a potential spread of the virus. Click here for FAQs.

While the virus does not spread easily between people, people can spread the infection once they develop symptoms. Transmission occurs through direct contact with body fluids and MPOX sores, by touching items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or less commonly, through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact. In many of the recent cases, the locations of the rash lesions suggest transmission during sexual contact. Examples where MPOX can spread and where it does not:

MPOX can spread through:

  • Direct skin-skin contact with rash lesions. Sexual/intimate contact, including kissing while a person is infected.
  • Living in a house and sharing a bed with someone. Sharing towels or unwashed clothing.
  • Respiratory secretions through face-to-face interactions (the type that mainly happen when living with someone or caring for someone who has monkeypox).

MPOX does not spread through:

  • Casual conversations. Walking by someone with MPV in a grocery store. Touching items like doorknobs.

Other things you can consider to help reduce the risk from MPOX include:

  • Avoid large gatherings like raves and dance parties where you may have lots of close body contact with others.
  • Ask any partner, especially new partners whose health status and recent travel history you are not familiar with, if they have any symptoms of MPOX.
  • Stay informed by reading information available on the DPH and CDC websites.

ABOUT MONKEYPOXMonkeypox (MPOX) is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness (fever, chills, malaise, headache, muscle aches) and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-to-4 weeks. The virus does not spread easily between people; transmission can occur through direct contact with body fluids and MPOX sores, or indirect contact with fomites (items that have been contaminated with the virus (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through large respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.

Symptoms of MPOX involve a characteristic rash. The rash is typically preceded by fever/chills, swollen lymph nodes, and other non-specific symptoms such as malaise, headache, and muscle aches following an average incubation period of up to 21 days (typically 6-16 days). Some recent cases have begun with characteristic lesions in the genital/perianal region, and in the absence of fever. For this reason, cases may be confused with more commonly seen infections (e.g., syphilis, chancroid, herpes, and varicella zoster). 

MPOX lesions typically progress through specific stages before scabbing and falling off. The rash appearance of MPOX is very similar to that of smallpox, appearing first on the face or genital area, and spreading to other parts of the body and may include lesions on the palms and soles. The illness is usually mild and most of those infected will recover within a few weeks without treatment. Initial laboratory testing for monkeypox is performed using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay on lesion material.

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