• What is Monkeypox?

    Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as the variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.


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


    • A rash that may be located anywhere on the body.
      • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
      • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
    • Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:
      • Fever
      • Chills
      • Swollen lymph nodes
      • Exhaustion
      • Muscle aches and backache
      • Headache
      • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

    Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

    Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.


    Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.

    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
    • Avoid close contact with any individual suspected of having any illness.


    Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.

    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.


    Wash your hands often.

    • 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.




    When to Get Tested

    • Currently, testing is only recommended if you have a rash consistent with monkeypox.
    • If you think you have monkeypox or have had close personal contact with someone who has monkeypox, consider taking precautions and visit a healthcare provider to help you decide if you need to be tested for monkeypox.


    Where to Get Tested

    • Only a healthcare provider can order a monkeypox test. The healthcare provider may take a specimen and send it to a lab for testing or they may send you to a lab for both specimen collection and testing.
    • Contact your local health department with any questions and to find out what the testing options are for your community.
      • If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, contact Fort Bend County Health & Human Services at 281-633-7795.

    If you have questions regarding Monkeypox, here is general information about the Monkeypox virus provided by the Centers for Disease Control.  Fort Bend County Health and Human Services (FBCHHS) has established a website dedicated to Monkeypox information, please visit