The name for mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, has been changed in order to reduce stigma and other issues associated with prior terminology.

mpox is a viral illness that has recently been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). Symptoms of mpox can include fever, headache, muscle aches or backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. It is often accompanied by a rash that can look like clear blisters or pimples that may appear on the face, inside the mouth, hands, feet, genitals, anus, chest or other areas. mpox is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it can be transmitted through close physical contact like kissing, cuddling, or sex. It can also be spread by direct contact with infectious rashes, scabs or fluids, or by touching items that have previously touched by an infectious rash or bodily fluids (such as clothing, sheets, or towels). 

mpox is not a new illness. However, there is concern about the increasing number of cases across the United States and globally. Although, gay, bisexual, queer men, transgender men and nonbinary people who have sex with men have recently been disproportionally affected, anyone can be infected with mpox regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Current messaging about mpox being a “gay” illness creates stigma, perpetuates misconceptions, harms those who are most vulnerable, and prevents reaching all who are at risk. 

For more information about mpox, including prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment, please visit the CDC website. Employees with mpox symptoms or exposure should contact their primary care provider, but can also find more information about vaccination centers here. Employees who do not have a primary care provider are encouraged to establish as a new patient at a site that is convenient. Many health centers are located in Boston, including our teaching-affiliated hospital Boston Medical Center including the Boston University Charles River Medical Practice located at 930 Commonwealth Avenue. Additional options to consider for mpox care include Fenway Health (Boston) or the Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Health Clinic.