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 approved for prevention of mpox. Getting both doses provides the best protection. You should get two doses 4 weeks apart.
  • You can choose where to get the vaccine. You can get it in your forearm, upper back, or shoulder.
  • Use the Mpox Vaccine Locator to find nearby healthcare locations in your area that provide mpox vaccinations.
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, temporarily changing some parts of your sex life might reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.
  • 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.
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 genitals (penis, testicles, labia, vagina) or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. 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.
  • 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.

If you are living in or visiting Central or West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread mpox virus, usually rodents and primates.

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.