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.

Signs and Symptoms

Mpox symptoms

People with mpox often get a rash that may be located on hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth or near the genitals, including penis, testicles, labia, and vagina, and anus.  The incubation period is 3-17 days. During this time, a person does not have symptoms and may feel fine.

  • 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 long do mpox symptoms last?

Mpox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

A person with mpox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Some people have been found to have infection but no symptoms.  CDC will continue to monitor for new or changing information about transmission.

If You Have a New or Unexplained Rash or Other Symptoms...

People who think they have mpox or have had close personal contact with someone who has mpox should visit a healthcare provider to help them decide if they need to be tested for mpox. If they decide that you should be tested, they will work with you to collect the specimens and send them to a laboratory for testing.

  • Avoid close contact, including sex or being intimate with anyone, until you have been checked out by a healthcare provider.
  • If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you.
  • Remind the healthcare provider that mpox is present in the United States.
  • When you see a healthcare provider, wear a mask, and remind them that this virus is circulating in the area.
If You Are Sick with Mpox
illustration of doctor with note pad
Science at CDC

Scientific evidence and studies behind mpox guidance and recommendations.

Science Behind Transmission

Multi-National Technical Reports

Mpox Rash Photos

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo credit: UK Health Security Agency

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo credit: UK Health Security Agency

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo credit: UK Health Security Agency

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo credit: UK Health Security Agency

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo credit: UK Health Security Agency

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo credit: UK Health Security Agency

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network