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    Infectious Disease Prevention Section
    Mail Code: 1927
    PO BOX 149347 - Austin, TX 78714-9347
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    Austin, TX 78714

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Monkeypox

For Public Health   For Health Care Providers   Resources   Updates   Vaccination

Monkeypox spreading in Texas

The monkeypox virus is currently spreading in Texas. Texans are encouraged to be informed to protect themselves and others from monkeypox.

How monkeypox spreads

Monkeypox can spread to anyone, most often through close, skin-to-skin contact, as well as:

  • Direct, close contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox. 
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), or surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.  
  • Contact with saliva or respiratory droplets from someone with monkeypox.

Monkeypox symptoms

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. 

  • Symptoms can start with fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion.
  • After flu-like symptoms, a rash appears that can look like pimples or blisters.
  • Monkeypox can spread from when symptoms start and until the rash has healed and fresh skin has formed, which can take several weeks.    

If you have monkeypox symptoms: 

  • Contact a doctor or health clinic for treatment
  • Avoid direct, close contact that can spread the disease

How to prevent monkeypox

Take the following 3 steps to prevent getting monkeypox:

  1. Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
    a. Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
    b. Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.

  2. Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
    a. Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
    b. Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

  3. Wash your hands often.
    a. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.

Monkeypox vaccination 

Monkeypox vaccines are available and are being delivered to local health departments and DSHS public health regions across Texas.

  • Please contact your local health department to learn more about vaccine availability in your area.
  • People with a known or possible exposure to the monkeypox virus are the highest priority for vaccination.
  • Monkeypox vaccination may protect you from getting sick if given before or soon after your exposure.

Find more information about monkeypox vaccination.

Current outbreak

Anyone can get monkeypox. Most monkeypox cases in the current outbreak have occurred among men who have sex with men and have been transmitted by sexual or other intimate contact.

Gay or bisexual men who have recently had multiple or anonymous sexual partners are at the highest risk of getting monkeypox and should take steps to reduce their risk.

Find more information about the current outbreak of monkeypox in Texas.

Last updated August 17, 2022