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Emerging & Communicable Diseases

This page provides information and resources on emerging or communicable diseases highlighted by the Health Department. 

Monkeypox Virus (MPV)

Beginning in May 2022, health organizations across the globe, including the Centers for Disease Control, began tracking cases of Monkeypox virus (MPV), which began to spread across several countries that don't normally report cases. Since that time, MPV has continued to spread in the United States. Click here for more information from from the CDC.

Signs and Symptoms

Most people with MPV will get a rash.

  • The rash may be located in areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, on or near the genitals or anus
  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
  • The rash may also be inside the body, including the mouth, vagina, or anus

Click here to see images of what an MPV rash looks like.  
Content note: some of the pictures could be considered graphic by some.

Some people have developed a rash before (or without) flu-like symptoms.

  • The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion.
  • If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

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

The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.

How does MPV spread?

At this time, MPV is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has the virus.

The virus 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 fetus through the placenta.

Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids is another way MPV spreads.

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

MPV can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

Preventing the Spread

  • Avoid close, skin- to- skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like MPV.
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with MPV.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with MPV.
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with MPV.
    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with MPV.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Vaccine

The vaccine is recommended for people age 18 or older who are at high risk for MPV infection. If you feel you would qualify, contact the Health Department at 708.358.5480 or email health@oak-park.us to be screened. If you are eligible, the Health Department will connect you with a vaccine provider.

If you are sick with MPV:

  • Isolate at home
  • If you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.
  • The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to MPV and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to MPV.