This page last updated on September 6, 2022.

Multiple cases of monkeypox have been reported in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States. There have been some people who have tested positive for monkeypox in Dane County, but rates remain low.

  • Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person. The virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox. While anyone can get monkeypox, the current outbreak is spreading through specific social networks, including men who have sex with men.
  • See the latest number of cases in Wisconsin on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website. For case counts nationally, see the CDC’s website.
  • Sign up for email updates. To receive an email when we have new monkeypox information and news (such as changes in vaccine eligibility and new resources), please subscribe to our email updates. Check the box for Monkeypox Updates in the list of newsletters.

Monkeypox Vaccination

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Learn the Basics

Monkeypox is a rare disease that has been around for several decades.

  • Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 among monkeys. The first human case was recorded in 1970.
  • Smallpox vaccines work on monkeypox. If someone has confirmed, high-risk exposure, the smallpox vaccine can be given within four days to help prevent disease.
  • Most people recover from monkeypox without treatment or hospitalization. There are effective treatments for people with severe monkeypox.
  • The strain of the monkeypox virus that is spreading with the current outbreak is rarely deadly. Nearly everyone who gets this form of the disease will survive. However, people with weakened immune systems, children under 8 years of age, people with a history of eczema, and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be more likely to get very sick or die. While this strain is rarely deadly, the symptoms can be extremely painful, and people might have permanent scarring resulting from the rash.

Signs and Symptoms of Monkeypox

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. Look at pictures of the pox on CDC's website.

The monkeypox rash usually develops within one to three days after fever. However, some people may experience a rash or sores first, followed by other symptoms. Some people may also only develop a rash.

Call your doctor if you have symptoms of monkeypox.

Know Your Risk

  • While anyone can get monkeypox, the current outbreak is spreading through specific social networks, including men who have sex with men. If you are a man who has sex with other men, you are more likely to be exposed to monkeypox at this time. 

  • Monkeypox is not easily spread. Monkeypox can spread through direct skin contact with someone with a rash, contact with objects or surfaces used by someone with monkeypox, or respiratory droplets or oral fluids from someone with monkeypox. Since the monkeypox rash is very distinct, most people with monkeypox isolate soon after their symptom onset and spread it to few or no other people.
  • Learn more about lowering your risk in CDC's fact sheet, Safer Sex, Social Gatherings, and Monkeypox.
  • Below is a video from CDC with ways to reduce risk:

Materials & Resources to Learn More