What is Monkeypox

August 1, 2022

The World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox virus (MPV) a global public health emergency. Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with MPV. The virus is spread when a person comes in contact with an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). Human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through direct contact with skin lesions or close contact with large respiratory droplets.

Although the number of cases and risk of infection are currently low in our area, local public health officials want to minimize MPV transmission through awareness and preparedness. Residents should:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with a monkeypox has used.
  • 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.
  • If you have new/unknown lesions, assume it is monkeypox and get tested.
  • Get the vaccine, if you qualify.

For more information, Harris County residents can call Harris County Public Health at 832-927-0707 or visit the ReadyHarris website.

Fort Bend County residents can log onto the Fort Bend Health and Human Services - What is Monkeypox? page.