Mpox Questions?

Reach us at

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(Closed Saturdays and Sundays)

Monkeypox FAQ

What is mpox?

Mpox is caused by a virus that spreads through close, skin-to-skin intimate contact or during sex. It can also spread through kissing and contact with sheets, towels and other objects. While most cases have occurred through sexual activity, Mpox is not an STI.

What are the symptoms of mpox?

Mpox starts with flu-like symptoms, followed by a rash or sores.

Who is at risk of mpox?

Anyone can get mpox, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, if they come in close contact with someone infected with the virus. At this time, most, but not all cases of mpox within the 2022 outbreak have been found in people who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men.

How do I get tested for mpox?

If you have symptoms of mpox, you should see a healthcare provider for testing. Columbus Public Health also offers testing for mpox. Please call 614-645-7774 to make an appointment. To be tested, you must have a rash or sores. There is no blood test, and you cannot be tested if you don’t have an active rash or sores. 

How do I get a vaccine?

Columbus Public Health is working with community partners and local healthcare providers to offer the vaccine to those most at risk. Just like with COVID-19, while vaccine supply is limited, we are prioritizing those at greatest risk first. Learn more about current vaccine eligibility and availability here.

If I test positive for mpox, how and when to notify contacts?

Whenever there is a case of mpox, public health will help assess which close contacts should be notified through contact tracing. Vaccines are available for confirmed close contacts of a person with mpox.

What is the isolation timeline for those with mpox? 

Isolation for those with mpox can be up to 4 weeks. A person diagnosed with mpox must stay isolated until all of the rash or sores crust over and new skin grows over it. This usually takes 2-4 weeks. Learn more about isolation guidelines here.

Are healthcare workers at risk?

Healthcare workers are not at risk as long as appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn when interacting with a person with a suspected mpox infection.

What are disease prevention strategies for schools?

Disease prevention with mpox is similar to other viruses – wash hands, wear masks, stay home if sick or have a fever and clean surfaces regularly.

How does case reporting and tracking work?

Labs report cases directly to public health like other reportable diseases. Public health interviews the cases and determines close contacts and places where exposure could have occurred. Schools/businesses/agencies should report a cluster or an outbreak to local public health.

What are cleaning guidelines for areas where a mpox case has been?

Clean surfaces with antiviral/antibacterial products. Make hand washing readily available.

Is there masking guidance for mpox?

Masking can help reduce the spread of mpox.

If a child becomes ill, and we suspect it is Mpox, what process should we follow?

If a child becomes ill and you suspect mpox, you should have the parents get the child evaluated by a healthcare provider for a diagnosis and then follow the guidance for that diagnosis.