Monkeypox

Quick Links to Monkeypox Topics

About Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. Monkeypox belongs to the Orthopox genus, which also includes smallpox and cowpox. Monkeypox cases in humans in the U.S. have been linked to international travel as well as imported animals.

Symptoms

Monkeypox symptoms can include:

  • Fever and chills

    Fever and chills

  • Headache

    Headache

  • Muscle and backache

    Muscle aches and backache

  • Swollen lymph nodes

    Swollen lymph nodes

  • Exhaustion

    Exhaustion

Monkeypox also includes a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. See examples of monkeypox rash here.

The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience the rash.

Transmission

Monkeypox virus can spread:

  • When a person comes in contact with an infected animal
  • Through direct contact with body fluid or sores of an infected person
  • Through direct contact with contaminated materials, such as clothing or bedding
  • Through respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact with an infected person

What Should I Do If I Have Monkeypox?

Talk to a healthcare provider if you think you have monkeypox. Monkeypox can occur at the same time as other infections, like sexually transmitted infections. This includes gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV. You healthcare provider may also test and treat you for other infections.

How do I Isolate?

If you have monkeypox or monkeypox symptoms, isolate at home away from others.

  • Monkeypox rash
    • Isolate until your rash is fully healed (scabs fallen off and a fresh layer of skin forms).
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water.
  • Home
    • Stay in a separate room or area from other household members and pets.
    • Limit using shared household areas as much as possible.
    • Do not have visitors in your home during isolation.
  • Family and pets

      Avoid close contact with other people in your home.

      Avoid close contact with pets in your home.

      Close contact is being within 6 feet of someone with monkeypox.

  • Couch

      Avoid sharing items with other people in your home that could become contaminated (bedding, clothing, towels and wash cloths, drinking glasses, eating utensils, and others).

      Use coversheets, waterproof mattress covers, blankets, or tarps over any surface that cannot be washed (like upholstered furniture or porous surfaces).

  • Healthcare

      You can leave your home and sick room for emergency or necessary medical care.

      If you need to leave your home during isolation, cover any skin rash with bandages, long pants and long sleeves, or dress. Also wear a well-fitting mask.

  • Toilet

Ways to Make Yourself More Comfortable If You Have Monkeypox Symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of water and other clear fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Keep sores clean and dry when you are not showering or bathing.
  • Your healthcare provider may talk to you about using these steps based on your symptoms:
    • Itching
      • Use over-the-counter oral antihistamines (like diphenhydramine/Benedryl, cetirizine, or hydroxyzine).
      • Use topical ointments like calamine lotion or petroleum jelly (Vaseline, etc.)
    • Mouth pain or sores
      • Use prescription mouthwash. This helps mouth pain and keeps sores clean.
      • Use topical over-the-counter oral gels to reduce pain (like Orajel). Talk to your healthcare provider about how much to use.
    • Sores in the genital or anal regions
      • Use warm sitz baths.
      • Use topical pain-relief gels or creams (like RectiCare) to provide temporary relief.
    • Proctitis (swelling of the lining of the rectum internal to the anus)
      • Use stool softeners like docusate and warm sitz baths.
      • Use over-the-counter pain medications like acetopminophen.
      • Your healthcare provider may prescribe other pain medications. Discuss side effects with them before taking any other medications.
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
      • Talk to your healthcare provider about prescription medications to control nausea.
    • Diarrhea
      • Drink plenty of water and fluids with electrolytes to stay hydrated.
      • Over-the-counter medications are not recommended.
    • Bacterial infections
      • Talk to your healthcare provider about if and when you may need antibiotics.

Contact a healthcare provider right away if:

  • You have blood in your urine.
  • You have difficulty urinating.
  • You are unable to retract your foreskin.
  • Your foreskin cannot return to a normal position after being retracted.
  • You are unable to pass a bowel movement.
  • You have blood in your stool.
  • You develop diarrhea.
  • You have pain that you cannot manage at home.

Monkeypox Cases in Maine

Confirmed and Probable Monkeypox Cases in Maine (Updated 8/10/2022)
County Number of Confirmed and Probable Cases*
Aroostook 2
York 1

*Cases may be reassigned to other states upon investigation.

Maine CDC currently updates this case count Monday through Friday. The schedule for updates may change as cases occur.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions (PDF) about monkeypox. (Updated 8/4/2022)

Monkeypox Vaccine

Maine has a small amount of monkeypox vaccine available. Currently, people who are at highest risk of getting monkeypox can get the vaccine. People who had close contact with a person with confirmed monkeypox in the past 14 days can get vaccinated for monkeypox.

Some people with certain risk factors can also get vaccinated. You can get the monkeypox vaccine if:

  • You are 18 years of age or older, AND
  • You are an individual who is gay, bisexual, gender non-conforming, or other man who has sex with men, AND
  • You had multiple male partners in the last 14 days, AND
  • At least one of these:
    • You had a partner in the last 14 days who had monkeypox symptoms.
    • You met a recent sexual partner through online apps, social media, or at a large gathering.
    • You have a weakened immune system.

If you think you meet these criteria, contact one of the sites in the table below.

Monkeypox Vaccine Locations in Maine
County Healthcare Provider Address Phone Number to Schedule
Androscoggin Maine Family Planning 179 Lisbon St. Lewiston, ME 04240 (207) 922-3222
Cumberland City of Portland STD Clinic 39 Forest Ave. Portland, ME 04101 (207) 756-8067
Cumberland Gilman Street Clinic 48 Gilman St. Portland, ME 04102 (207) 661-4400
Cumberland Greater Portland Health 100 Brickhill Ave. Suite 301 South Portland, ME 04106 (207) 874-2141
York Local Roots Health Care 12 Depot St. Kennebunk, ME 04043 (207) 569-2021
Schedule your appointment here

To be fully vaccinated for monkeypox, you need to receive two vaccine doses about four weeks apart. You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your second vaccine. You will receive instructions on how to schedule your second vaccine appointment when you get your first shot.

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