San Benito County

Health & Human Services Agency

Hollister, California

Monkeypox (MPX)

MPX is a rare disease that spreads primarily through direct contact with body fluids/sores of an infected
person or through direct contact with objects/surfaces used by an infected person. It can also spread
through respiratory secretions during prolonged, face contact or contact with an infected animal or
infected animal products.
MPX can affect anyone regardless of age, gender identity or sexual orientation. The risk for MPX to the
general public is low. Although most cases resolve on their own, the virus can be serious and painful.
San Benito County Public Health Services is working with the California Department of Public Health
(CDPH), local health providers, and neighboring health departments to monitor MPX, provide health
education, and help control the spread of the virus.
As of September 12, 2022, 5 confirmed cases of MPX have been reported in San Benito County.
MPX symptoms usually start within 21 days (3 weeks) of exposure. MPX can start with flu-like symptoms
(e.g., fever/chills, sore throat, headache) followed by a rash or lesion 1-4 days later. The rash/lesion may
initially look like a pimple or blister and may be painful and/or itchy. Rash can develop on or near the
genital area, hands, feet, chest, face, and/or mouth. MPX is considered contagious from the start of
symptoms until all lesions have healed, scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. MPX
can last 2-4 weeks.

There are numerous ways to protect yourself from MPX, including:

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds
  • Don’t share clothing, towels, bedding, utensils
  • Avoid/minimize skin-to-skin contact
  • Avoid direct physical contact with people who have symptoms like sores or rashes
  • Get vaccinated if you meet the criteria – Contact San Benito County Public Health Services for vaccine eligibility.
  • Talk to your partners about MPX symptoms; be aware of new or unexplained rashes or lesions

*MPX is not considered a sexually transmitted disease but is often transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact, which can include sexual contact.

If you had close direct contact with a person diagnosed with MPX, you may be eligible to receive the MPX vaccine. Contact San Benito County Public Health Services at (831) 637-5367 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) for more information. Avoid sex or close contact with others. Avoid sharing clothing, towels, bedding, and utensils. At this time, testing for MPX is only available if you are experiencing rash/lesion symptoms.

Watch for signs and symptoms for 21 days after exposure.

Contact your primary care provider for testing options. Stay home and isolate away from others while you wait for results.

If you don’t have a primary care provider or are uninsured, contact San Benito County Public Health Services for testing options at (831) 637-5367 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM).

CDC recommends people who have been exposed to MPX and those who are at higher risk of getting MPX to get vaccinated. San Benito County Public Health Services has an extremely limited supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine. The JYNNEOS is a two-dose vaccine given 28 days apart and has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use.

San Benito County Public Health Services is following CDC and CDPH guidance on MPX vaccination strategies. Currently, there is not enough vaccines for all at-risk populations. In accordance with CDC and CDPH guidelines, doses allocated to San Benito County to date have been prioritized for individuals who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with MPX and individuals at highest risk of contracting MPX.

When MPX vaccine allocations increase, San Benito County Public Health will increase availability to additional CDC priority populations. We will share additional information as it becomes available.

For additional information regarding vaccine visit CDPH and CDPH Vaccine Q&A.

Most MPX infections are mild and do not require treatment. There is no treatment specifically for MPX. However, antivirals like tecovirimat (TPOXX) may be recommended for people who are at greater risk of severe illness. Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms.

MPX is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread between animals and humans. Humans can be infected with the virus through direct contact with infected animals and their fluids. Small mammals can carry the virus, sometimes without apparent symptoms. Infected animals can spread MPX to humans, infected people can spread MPX to animals through close contact like petting, cuddling, hugging, kissing, licking and sharing sleeping areas or food.

For more information on MPX and animals click Pets in the Home

For questions regarding MPX and vaccine eligibility contact San Benito County Public Health Services at

(831) 637-5367 (Monday- Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

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