If you have mpox, you aren’t alone. Infectious diseases are a part of life, but unfortunately they can also lead to feelings of shame and marginalization. As the virus continues to impact GBT2Q communities, there is a growing stigma relating to mpox, and those who are getting it. Visit igotmpox.com to hear first-hand advice from someone who got mpox, and support in navigating stigma related to mpox.
Vaccination—If you have already been exposed to mpox, getting vaccinated can still help your immune system fight the virus. Contact your health care provider or local public health authority to ask about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for mpox. Getting the vaccine is recommended as soon as possible after exposure to mpox, but can be provided up to two weeks after exposure.
Isolation—Recovering from mpox requires self-isolation, which can last three weeks or longer. Wherever possible, follow isolation guidance from your public health authority. The pocks (sores or blisters), continue to be infectious until the scab falls off and there is new skin underneath.
For many, this period of isolation may be long and difficult. If you are isolating, consider reaching out to your support network. If you aren’t in isolation but know someone who is, consider reaching out to them and offering to deliver supplies if you are able.
Wound care—effective wound care can help in managing pain and discomfort from mpox, but many people with mpox aren’t given proper guidance from the health care system. Learn more about wound care for mpox at igotmpox.com.
Seeking medical treatment—Mpox usually resolves on its own within three to four weeks. However, for many, mpox causes significant pain and discomfort, and it may be important to receive medical attention during this time. Many people experience fever/chills before they notice any rash.
If you have pocks in/near your eyes, in your throat (affecting your ability to breathe) or rectum (with intense pain), you should seek medical attention to prevent disability.
In addition to getting tested for mpox, it is important to seek medical care if there are signs of a secondary bacterial infection. It’s possible for pocks (sores or blisters) caused by mpox anywhere on your body to get infected. Avoid scratching the area to reduce the chance of infection. Some signs that your pocks are infected include extra redness in the surrounding area, swelling, and increasing or intense pain, white discharge, and having a fever.