CDC is updating webpages with the term "mpox" to reduce stigma and other issues associated with prior terminology. This change is aligned with the recent World Health Organization decision.

CDC’s Mpox Toolkit for Event Organizers

WHO should use this toolkit? Event organizers, bar and nightclub owners, owners and managers of businesses such as hotels, saunas, sex-on-premises venues, and others who are working to prevent mpox.

WHAT is this toolkit about? This toolkit serves as a ready-to-use resource on how to promote mpox prevention strategies for large gathering or social events. This guide does not address administration of vaccines in conjunction with events. For information about vaccine strategies, refer to your local health department.

HOW should I use this toolkit? Messages and actions are included for use before, during, and after an event. You can share these materials through your platforms and channels as is or rebrand them.

Large gatherings and social events are great opportunities for people to connect and enjoy themselves. This toolkit is designed to help organize events safely and can be a starting point for conversations between event organizers and local, tribal, state, and federal public health authorities. As an event organizer, you have an important opportunity to help people at your event learn about mpox and how to protect their health.

CDC Resources for Mpox

Access CDC materials on mpox testing, treatment, and prevention available online and downloadable for printing:

This toolkit provides public health advice to event organizers and professional staff involved in the planning and delivery of large gatherings and social events.

Large and social gatherings where attendees are crowded together and moving around can lead to close, prolonged, and frequent interactions between people. They may also be associated with behaviors, like having sex with a new partner you met at the event, that contribute to the spread of mpox virus.

Risks that increase exposure to mpox should be considered when planning an event.  Postponing or cancelling gatherings that draw large numbers of attendees who may be at increased risk for mpox or in areas where mpox cases have been identified is not required as a default measure. These events can be used as opportunities to reach out to many people at once and educate them about mpox.

Take Steps to Reduce the Spread of Mpox

By working with local health authorities, event organizers can play a key role in reducing the spread of mpox virus and protecting people’s health by providing accurate information and promoting disease prevention. You can plan your efforts by considering how participants will likely interact while at the event.

Disseminate accurate information

  • You can find the most up-to-date information on mpox at: cdc.gov/mpox
  • Use messages to communicate with your attendees before, during, and after the event. Provide messages and content that are simple, available in relevant languages, and include visual content. The social media toolkit has strategies and sample posts about testing for, preventing, and treating mpox.

Pre-event:

  • Engage with local health authorities to coordinate messages. Consider allowing health authorities to set up booths or tents to provide information and on-site services, if feasible and appropriate.
  • Consider including information on registration forms and ticket purchasing pages.
  • Share information on the event website and social media channels. This could include sharing interviews with trusted spokespersons featured on news websites, podcasts, and other media used by eventgoers.
  • Use text blasts (i.e., SMS text messages from a single source sent to a large group of people simultaneously), email, and direct messages to participants.
  • If relevant, include information in newsletters and other mediums where your event may be advertised.
  • If there is an event app, send push notifications to users. Integrate mpox information into the app.

During event:

  • Consider the use of big screens, banners, posters (e.g., at entrances to the event, eye-level above urinals, or on the back of toilet doors), and talking points for stage announcements included in this toolkit.
  • Encourage event talent (e.g., performers, musicians, DJs) to share non-stigmatizing, fact-based prevention messages.
  • If resources allow work with popular apps to send messages to attendees during the event (known as geo-fencing).
  • Engage and involve event staff and volunteers. Make sure they know where to obtain information if asked by an event participant.

Post-event:

  • After the event, consider providing health information and guidance on how to recognize mpox symptoms and when to seek medical advice on your websites, social media accounts, and apps.
  • If possible, have a form on your website where people can tell you if their mpox test returned positive and list the events they attended on which day, so that you can use this to alert other event participants. You can make the form anonymous, or you can state and ensure that any personal identifying information will not be shared based on applicable health laws.

Channels you can use:

  • News items on event websites, event app, or via social media channels
  • Post-event webcast/teleconference with participants
  • Emails and direct messages to participants
  • Push notifications via SMS text, dating apps, etc.
  • Refer to CDC’s social gathering guidance
  • Give guests information on how to access sexual health services in your area.
  • If any outbreak of mpox or another communicable disease does arise, cooperate with your local public health authorities and help them contact people who may have been exposed. If participants do not want to share this information, advise them to contact their close contacts directly.

Collaborate with others

Pre-event:

  • Work with your local health department
    • Your local health authorities should be able to provide you up to date and accurate information about mpox. It may also be able to help share messages and serve as a point of contact for testing, treatment, and vaccine information.
    • Refer to CDC’s safer sex and social gatherings for additional considerations.
    • Consider reaching out to your local health department about hosting a vaccination site leading up to your event, during your event, or after your event.
  • Engage with organizers of peripheral events, such as parties or club nights, and local businesses, such as hotels, bars, night clubs, saunas, and sex-on-premises venues. Encourage them to share and post mpox prevention messages.

During event:

  • Share resources on mpox testing, treatment, and vaccination.

Post-event:

  • Highlight the symptoms of mpox and refer participants to the health department and other organizations that provide testing and treatment.

Prevent and control the infection

Pre-event:

  • Encourage vaccination for people who have been or are more likely to be exposed to mpox virus.
  • Share harm reduction messages with attendees:
    • Consider how much close, personal, skin-to-skin contact is likely to occur at the event you plan to attend and wear clothing that covers more skin to help protect yourself.
    • Limit your number of sex partners to reduce your likelihood of exposure.
  • Review CDC’s Disinfecting Home and Other Non-Healthcare Settings guidance: Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • Set up sufficient hand-washing facilities and hand sanitizers.
    • Ensure hand-washing facilities are available to attendees across the venue, and that information is provided to alert attendees about where they can wash or sanitize their hands.
  • Distribute alcohol-based hand sanitizer at multiple sites across the venue, particularly near toilets and in food courts or near food trucks.

During event:

  • Where appropriate, clean and disinfect the event premises regularly; for specifics, please review Cleaning and Disinfecting.
  • Wash shared items such as utensils, plates, and glasses after each guest in a dishwasher or by hand with hot water and soap.
  • Change bed linens and towels after each customer or adopt single-use options.
  • Allocate a private space in the event venue for attendees, volunteers, and staff who may start to show symptoms while they are attending the event. Collaborate with your local health department to ensure proper medical assistance is available to those who develop symptoms.

Post-event:

  • Final clean and disinfection of premises and shared items.

Examples of Mpox Messages to Share

The following are examples of potential messages that can be shared.  Please work with your local health authorities to determine messages for your event. Visit CDC for the latest mpox information.

Pre-event:

  • Mpox virus is spreading in the United States. You can protect yourself and other event goers by learning about mpox before coming to [event name]. Go to [insert trusted source, e.g., www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/mpox/index.html] to learn more.
  • The mpox virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has mpox. To learn more: How It Spreads
  • Symptoms of mpox may include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and enlarged lymph nodes. A characteristic rash, which can appear like blisters or pimples, occurs a few days later. Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.  Others only experience a rash.
  • If you feel sick or have a new or unexplained rash, do not attend [event name] and see a healthcare provider.
  • To help protect you and your community, follow the recommended prevention steps, and get vaccinated if you were exposed to mpox virus or are at higher risk of being exposed to mpox virus.

During event:

  • If you notice a new or unexplained rash or other mpox symptoms while at [event name], avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with other eventgoers and go directly to [designated private space at event venue where people can go if they start to show symptoms].
  • We hope you are having a great time at [event name]. Remember, if you feel sick or have a new or unexplained rash, talk to a health care provider right away.
    • Symptoms of mpox may include flu-like illness with fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and enlarged lymph nodes. A characteristic rash, which can appear like blisters or pimples, occurs a few days later. Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Some people may only experience a rash.
  • Consider minimizing skin-to-skin contact (including kissing, hugging, cuddling, or having sex) with someone with mpox and avoid contact with any rash you see on others.
  • Avoid any rash you see on others and consider minimizing skin-to-skin contact.
  • Avoid contact with objects (such as eating utensils and cups) and materials (such as clothing or towels) that a person with mpox has used.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
  • Even if you feel well, here are some ways to reduce your chances of being exposed to mpox if you are sexually active:
    • Take a temporary break from activities that increase exposure to mpox.
    • Limit your number of sex partners to reduce your likelihood of exposure.
    • Talk with your partner about any mpox symptoms and be aware of any new or unexplained rash or lesion on either of your bodies.  If you or your partner has or recently had mpox symptoms or you have a new or unexplained rash anywhere on your body, do not have sex and see a healthcare provider. In some cases, symptoms may be mild, and some people may not even know they have mpox.
    • Be aware that mpox can also spread through respiratory secretions with close, face-to-face contact.
    • Remember to wash your hands, fetish gear, sex toys, and any fabrics (bedding, towels, clothes) after having sex. Learn more about infection control: Isolation and Infection Control at Home
  • Remember to include information on how participants should access health services if they think they have mpox symptoms.

Post-event:

  • We hope you had a great time at [event name]. Remember, if you feel sick or have a new or unexplained rash, talk to a health care provider right away.
    • Symptoms of mpox may include flu-like illness with fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and enlarged lymph nodes. A characteristic rash, which can appear like blisters or pimples, occurs a few days later. Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Some people may only experience a rash.
  • If you have been exposed or suspect you have been exposed to mpox virus but do not have symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider or health department about vaccine.
  • If you have symptoms of mpox, you should talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has mpox.
  • If you experience mpox symptoms, talk to your close contacts right away. Think about the people you have had close, skin-to-skin, or sexual contact with during the last 21 days, including people you met through dating apps.
  • Antiviral drugs used to treat mpox, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.
  • Do not travel if you have mpox. Isolate at home or in another location until your symptoms are gone and your rash has healed; this means all scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
  • If you have mpox and must travel:
    • Make sure that you do not have fever or respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough.
    • Cover your rash and wear a well-fitting mask.

Social Media Resources

Event organizers, bar and nightclub owners, social media influencers, and consumers can use the strategies and sample posts within the CDC social media toolkit to join the national conversation about testing for, preventing, and treating mpox.

Talking points for presenters making announcements at events, bars, and nightclubs

Background: Providing information to event attendees through announcements is a good way to reach a large group of people at one time. These talking points and tips were designed to help you think through developing announcements about mpox.

Considerations:

  • Decide what type of message you would like to focus on. For example, you may want to educate about mpox symptoms, provide information on what attendees should do if they become sick, or raise awareness about contact tracing.
  • Make sure to include a call to action in your announcement such as where to go for more information (e.g., an online website like cdc.gov/mpox; a booth at the event) or engaging in a specific behavior like encouraging vaccination.
  • Recruit a presenter to make the announcement. This could be someone viewed as a public health authority, such as health department staff or a local clinician, or it can be someone affiliated with the event or venue such as a DJ, staff member, or performer.

What information should presenters give audiences

Do:

  • give people the facts about mpox
  • tell them who is most at risk, and how we can protect each other
  • say where they can find reliable information on mpox
  • give information on how to access health services, including clinics for sexually transmitted infections

Don’t:

  • pander to stereotypes by making fun of the name of the disease or the fact it was first identified in Africa

Example script for a presenter to promote prevention and learning more:

Hi Everyone!  I’m [insert name and role/position].  Before the show starts (while we have a short break), we wanted to take a quick moment to provide you some information about mpox. As you may have heard, cases of mpox are rising in our area/community. The virus is contagious and spreads through close, skin-to-skin contact but we can prevent the spread of mpox here at [insert event or venue]. We want to encourage everyone to spread out and keep your shirts on.  If you feel sick or have a new or unexplained rash, please go home. We also have a booth in the back where we can answer any questions you may have about mpox and provide more information. Thanks everyone. Stay safe and enjoy [insert event name].

Basic Information about Mpox

What is mpox?

Mpox is caused by infection with the mpox virus. Mpox virus is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Mpox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but usually milder, and mpox is rarely fatal. Mpox is not related to chickenpox.

Who is at risk from mpox?

  • People can get mpox through specific behaviors, regardless of an individual’s race/ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other characteristics;

How is mpox spread?

Mpox spreads in a few ways.

  • Mpox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
    • Direct contact with mpox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with mpox.
    • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with mpox.
    • Contact with respiratory secretions.
  • This direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including:
    • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) of a person with mpox.
    • Hugging, massage, and kissing.
    • Prolonged face-to-face contact.
    • Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with mpox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.
  • A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus during pregnancy or to the newborn by close contact during and after birth.

What are the symptoms of mpox?

People with mpox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms of mpox can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

You may experience all or only a few symptoms.

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
  • Others only experience a rash.

How do you protect yourself from mpox?

Take the following steps to prevent getting mpox:

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

What treatments are available for mpox?

There are no treatments specifically for mpox virus infections. However, because of genetic similarities in the viruses, antiviral drugs used to treat smallpox may be used to treat mpox infections.

Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.

Is there a vaccine to prevent mpox?

Because mpox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, vaccines developed to protect against smallpox viruses may be used to prevent mpox infections.

The U.S. government has two stockpiled vaccines—JYNNEOS and ACAM2000—that can prevent mpox in people who are exposed to the virus.

Who should get vaccinated for mpox?

CDC recommends vaccination for people who have already been exposed to mpox and people who may be more likely to be exposed to mpox. For more information on mpox vaccination, please see Mpox Vaccination Basics

Vaccine protection

The preferred vaccine to protect against mpox is JYNNEOS, which is a two-dose vaccine. It takes 14 days after getting the second dose of JYNNEOS for its immune protection to reach its maximum.