Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness. However, if left untreated it can result in further illness and hospitalization. Monkeypox is a new virus in the United States, and public health officials are closely monitoring it. 

About Monkeypox

Monkeypox spreads through close physical contact, meaning that anyone has the potential to contract monkeypox. However, based on the current outbreak, certain populations are more at-risk of monkeypox infection than others. This includes:
  • Individuals who have traveled to areas that are currently reporting monkeypox cases
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • Healthcare Providers 
  • People with weakened immune systems

Protect Yourself

Individuals can protect themselves from the spread of monkeypox by avoiding skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has a rash or other monkeypox-related symptoms. Individuals should also ask their sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms consistent with the monkeypox virus.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms usually begin within three weeks after exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will likely get a rash one to four days later. Symptoms include: 

  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside of the mouth, and on other parts of the body such as hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Chills


Individuals who have been exposed to monkeypox or who experience monkeypox symptoms should contact their healthcare provider. All suspected or confirmed cases should be immediately reported to the Division of Health (973) 983-2848. If you are a known contact of someone who has tested positive in the past 14 days, you can also contact the Division of Health for assistance in obtaining a vaccine.

Vaccine Information

The vaccine for human monkeypox (hMPXV) virus is called JYNNEOS. With the current limited supply of JYNNEOS vaccine in New Jersey, the following residents may be eligible for vaccination:
  • People who have known contact with someone who tested positive for orthopoxvirus or monkeypox virus within the past 14 days
  • People who attended  an event where known monkeypox exposure occurred within the past 14 days.
  • People who had multiple sex partners in the past 14 days in areas where monkeypox has been reported. 
  • Locate a vaccination site near you.

For additional information, including information on where other high risk individuals can obtain the vaccine, please visit the NJ Department of Health