Updated 19 June 2023

UPDATE: **The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced on Friday 16 June that vaccines will continue to be given in London, due to a rise in mpox cases. The mpox vaccination programme was originally due to end in July 2023. Call your clinic to book a vaccination.**

Update: Following a series of consultations with global experts, WHO will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out. - 28/11/2022

The symptoms of mpox (monkeypox) can change from stage to stage. Here is what you need to look out for: 

Early symptoms: 

It usually takes between 5 and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear. They can include: 

  • high temperature 
  • headache 
  • muscle aches 
  • backache 
  • swollen glands 
  • shivering (chills) 
  • exhaustion 
  • joint pain 

Next phase of symptoms: 

  • A rash usually appears 1 to 5 days after the first symptoms 
  • unusual spots, ulcers and blisters can develop anywhere on the body 
  • This can often begin on your face and spread to other parts of your body but can also be found around the mouth, hands, genitals and anus. 
  • The spots themselves have different stages: they can look like chickenpox, herpes or syphilis at first, before forming a scab which later falls off 
  • Some people may only get a few spots, while some get more. 

These symptoms can last up to four weeks. Most symptoms are mild enough not to require hospital admission but in some cases hospital treatment may be needed. It is thought that you are infectious until the scabs fall off (if you have them). 

READ MORE ABOUT: the mpox (monkeypox) vaccine

READ MORE ABOUT: mpox (monkeypox) transmission

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FURTHER READING: Visit Love Tank's Queer Health hub for advice, guides, help and information about mpox