How to Protect Yourself

Mpox Prevention Steps

These five steps can help you protect yourself from getting mpox:

Get vaccinated!
person with bandage on arm after vaccination
  • The JYNNEOS vaccine is recommended for prevention of mpox. Getting both doses provides the best protection. You should get two doses 4 weeks apart.
  • Even if it has been longer than 4 weeks since you got the first vaccine dose, you should get the second dose as soon as possible.
  • If you previously recovered from mpox, you do not need the vaccine.
  • Use the Mpox Vaccine Locator to find nearby healthcare locations that provide mpox vaccinations.
  • Check with your healthcare provider if the mpox vaccine is recommended for you.
Learn steps you can take to lower your risk of mpox during sex or at a social gathering.
  • If you are at risk for mpox but haven’t received your two-dose vaccine yet, consider temporarily changing activities that involve close personal contact (such as sex).
  • A rave, party, or club where there is minimal clothing and where there is direct, personal, often skin-to-skin contact has some risk. Avoid any rash you see on others and consider minimizing skin-to-skin contact.
Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox and animals that carry the monkeypox virus.
six images of lesions to help identify mpox rash

Examples of Mpox Rashes. Photo credit: UK Health Security Agency

This might include skin with what appears to be a rash, pimples, blisters, or scabs.

  • The rash might appear on the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth and other areas like on the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, vagina). Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with mpox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have sex with someone with mpox.
  • In areas where mpox is endemic (found naturally), particularly in Central or West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can carry the monkeypox virus, such as rodents and primates. Direct contact with infected animals can also pose a risk of exposure to the virus.
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.
  • If you or someone you live with has mpox, follow steps for Cleaning and Disinfecting your Home.
Wash your hands often.
wash your hands
  • 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.
  • Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect you, your family, and your friends from getting sick.

Watch for symptoms of mpox for 21 days from the date of your last exposure. If you have symptoms, such as a rash, visit a healthcare provider.