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Outbreak 2022 Information and Resources

Mpox

Kentucky Public Health. Prevent. Promote. Protect.

In support of the Nov. 28, 2022 recommendation by the World Health Organization, U.S. Health and Human Services and CDC, KDPH will adopt mpox as the term used to refer to monkeypox disease.

As of January 4, 2023, Kentucky has 97​​​​​​ reported ​cases of mpox. Beginning January, 2023, the Mpox Case Report​​ will be updated monthly. The next report will be provided February 1, 2023. Due to evolving data and timing, CDC,  state and local data sometimes will differ.​

Select a month from the drop-down menu below to view archived reports.

​Mpox

Mpox is a ​disease caused by the mpox virus and spread through contact with the virus from an infected animal, infected person or virus-contaminated objects and materials. Direct contact with sores, scabs or body fluids of an infected person is the primary method of spread; but, it also may spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face or intimate contact with an infected person.

Mpox typically begins with a fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion followed by a rash. The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks and infected persons are considered contagious while symptoms are present. Those concerned about mpox should contact their healthcare providers.

Frequently Asked Questions​​

Mpox is a rare disease caused by infection with the mpox virus. Mpox symptoms may include a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body such as genitals. Additional flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, muscle aches and/or exhaustion. In some cases, it causes more serious complications like pneumonia and other illnesses. Most people do not require hospitalization or die from mpox. The mpox virus is spreading mostly through close, physical contact with someone who has mpox. ​

Symptoms of mpox can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Painful, pus-filled bumps or sores in your mouth or other parts of the body 

The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 we​eks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.​​

If you have symptoms or medical concerns about mpox, contact your local health department or healthcare provider. For more information about mpox visit the CDC website.​

Individuals in Kentucky  have been diagnosed with mpox infection. Testing capability recently was expanded to provide the opportunity for more Kentuckians to be tested. If you have symptoms of mpox, talk to your healthcare provider about testing and treatment options. You can learn more about U.S. mpox outbreak 2022 and the Kentucky case count at the CDC website. ​


Mpox can spread from person to person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact such as kissing, cuddling or sex. In addition, pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetuses through the placenta.

Touching items such as clothing or household linens that have been in contact with the infectious rash or body fluids is one way mpox spreads. It's also possible to get mpox from infected animals by being scratched or bitten by the animal or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.

People who do not have mpox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

Mpox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash fully heals and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.​​

Take the following steps to avoid getting mpox:
  • Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has a rash that looks like mpox.
  • Have conversations with partners before close contact. 
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of person with mpox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have intimate contact with someone with mpox.
  • Do not share food, beverages, dishes, cups/glasses or eating utensils with someone who has mpox.
  • Do not handle or touch bedding, towels or clothing used or worn by someone with mpox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


Anyone who thinks they have mpox or have had close personal contact with someone who has mpox should visit a healthcare provider to help them decide if they need to be tested. If it is determined you should be tested, healthcare providers will work with you to collect specimens and send them to a laboratory for testing.

  • See a healthcare provider if you notice a new or unexplained rash or other monkeypox symptoms.
  • Avoid close contact (including intimate physical contact) with others until a healthcare provider examines you.
  • Avoid close contact with pets or other animals until a healthcare provider examines you.
  • If you’re waiting for test results, follow the same precautions.
  • Follow the guidance of your healthcare provider for testing and treatment options.​​​

If you have symptoms or medical concerns about monkeypox, contact your local health department or healthcare provider. For more information about monkeypox visit the CDC website.

If your mpox test result is positive, or if you are waiting for your test results, stay isolated and take precautions. People can spread mpox from the time symptoms start until all symptoms have resolved, including complete healing of the rash with formation of a fresh layer of skin. Ideally, people with mpox should remain in isolation for the duration of illness, which typically lasts two to four weeks.

Learn more about what to if you test positive for mpox at: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/dehp/idb/Documents/MPXIfYouTestPositive.pdf​ ​ 


No treatments specifically for mpox virus infections are available. However, because of genetic similarities in the viruses, antiviral drugs used to treat smallpox may be used to treat mpox infections. If you have symptoms of mpox, talk to your healthcare provider about testing and treatment options.​

Yes. Vaccine doses are limited and being distributed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS vaccination strategy is intended to help limit the spread of mpox in communities where transmission is highest and among populations most at risk.

The vaccine is two doses given at least 4 weeks apart. Vaccine recipients are considered to have best immunity 2 weeks after the second dose. The vaccine helps prevent getting mpox and makes it less severe if you do contract mpox.

If you have been contacted by a local health department or health care provider, please make a follow-up appointment to discuss your vaccination options. ​​

Distribution of the mpox vaccine remains low to Kentucky due to the low number of cases of mpox in the state. The Kentucky Department of Public Health shares and appreciates the need and concern for expanded access. We are working to increase vaccination locations as quickly as supplies allow. As more doses of vaccine become available in Kentucky, the eligibility criteria may change to allow for more widespread distribution. ​

Learn more about the Mpox Vaccine in Kentucky 

Learn more about the Mpox Vaccine in Kentucky - Spanish​

As more doses of vaccine become available in Kentucky, the eligibility criteria may change to allow for more widespread distribution. As the the eligibility criteria is updated, you can find out who is eligible at https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/dehp/idb/Documents/MonkeypoxVaccinesinKY.pdf


  • Yes, if mpox vaccine is recommended due to an outbreak, vaccination should not be delayed because of recent receipt of a Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. There is no minimum interval needed between COVID-19 vaccination and mpox vaccine (Jynneos) administration.
  • People, particularly adolescent or young adult males, might consider waiting 4 weeks after receiving a monkeypox vaccine before receiving a Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine because of the observed risk for myocarditis and pericarditis after receipt of mRNA (i.e., Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech) and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines and the unknown risk for myocarditis and pericarditis after the JYNNEOS vaccine.
  • Additional information is available on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/interim-considerations-us.html#timing-spacing-interchangeability


Where can I get a mpox vaccine?

If you think you may be eligible to receive a monkeypox vaccine, please reach out to the following locations to schedule an appointment.
Mpox Vaccination Locations​

Note: At this time prioritization must be given to those at highest risk.
Current vaccine eligibility

​As more doses of vaccine become available in Kentucky, the eligibility criteria and locations may change to allow for more widespread distribution.​

Contact Information

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