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There are a lot of myths about mpox. You need the right information about what mpox is, how it is transmitted, when to get tested, and how to continue protecting your overall health. 

What is Mpox?

Mpox is a rare disease caused by a virus, similar to the virus that causes smallpox, however, it is clinically less severe. 

Are there different types of mpox? 

Yes, there are 2 types: Congo Basin (Central African) clade as Clade 1 (I) and the former West African clade as Clade 2 (II). Infections within the current outbreak are found to be tied to clade II, the less severe of the two.

What are the symptoms of mpox?

Mpox symptoms can include: 

  • A rash of pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. The rash can last 2-4 weeks before healing completely.
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Chills

What should I do if I have symptoms? 

  • See your doctor or a healthcare provider if you have an unexplained rash or other mpox symptoms
  • Avoid close contact (including intimate physical contact) with others until you see a healthcare provider or if you're waiting for test results
  • If you suspect your symptoms are mpox, cover the rash to prevent transmission and wear a well-fitting mask

How does mpox spread?

Mpox is spread from person to person through prolonged, direct physical contact with an infectious rash, scab, or bodily fluids. This can include respiratory secretions spread during face-to-face contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sex.

Mpox is contagious from the time symptoms appear until the rash is fully healed and a fresh layer of skin forms. 

Is mpox sexually transmitted?

Mpox is sexually transmissible, but that's just one of the ways the infection can be spread. So far, more than 95% of cases in the United States have been acquired during sexual contact among men who have sex with men (MSM). In the current outbreak, Mpox is most often spread through close person-to-person contact. This can include any skin-to-skin contact, not just sex.

How do I protect myself from mpox? 

Mpox infections can be prevented by avoiding skin-to-skin contact with people who have a mpox-like rash. Avoid contact with surfaces, objects or materials that a person with mpox has touched. In the U.S., two vaccines (JYNNEOS and ACAM2000) may be used to prevent the spread of mpox.

Testing for Mpox

Mpox tests are only available when requested through a healthcare provider. If you've been in close person-to-person contact with someone who has mpox or you’re showing symptoms of infection, see your healthcare provider for diagnosis through testing. The test is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that uses patient swab specimens of the rash lesions.

Frequently asked questions about mpox testing

No. Testing for mpox is available through your healthcare provider. Your doctor will collect a sample swab of the rash lesions and send it to a Quest laboratory to be tested. Results should be available within 48 hours and will be sent to your healthcare provider.

Quest has strong safety procedures in place at all times to help protect patients and employees from coming into contact with any infectious diseases. We launched the Peace of Mind Program at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to add even more precautions that make it easier to access the testing you need.

These measures include:

  • Recommending that patients wear a mask when visiting a patient service center, unless required by state/local mandate
  • Encouraging online scheduling to limit your wait time and the number of people in waiting rooms
  • Encouraging patients with severe symptoms (fever or flu-like symptoms) to reschedule for when they are feeling better
  • Offering a text alert option that allows patients to wait for appointments outside 

Yes. It is important to get the care you need when you need it. If you have Monkeypox or suspect you may have mpox, you should wear a mask and fully cover your rash and lesions when visiting a Quest Patient Service Center.

Mpox treatment

There are no treatments specifically for mpox. Most people with mpox recover fully within 2 to 4 weeks without the need for medical treatment. Antiviral drugs used to treat smallpox may be used for mpox due to the genetic similarities of the diseases.

• This product has not been FDA cleared or approved, but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an EUA for use by the authorized laboratories;

• This product has been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from mpox virus or other non-variola orthopoxviruses, not for any other viruses or pathogens; and

• The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of infection with the monkeypox virus, including in vitro diagnostics that detect and/or diagnose infection with non-variola Orthopoxvirus, under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated or authorization is revoked sooner. 

Peace of mind at Quest locations

Our strong safety protocols help protect patients and employees from coming into contact with any infectious diseases. 

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