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I have contracted monkeypox (mpox), what happens now? 

It is important you stay home and do not have contact with others. By self-isolating you are reducing the risk of the virus being passed on to others. 

This means not going to work, the shops or other public facilities like gyms. You will also need to isolate from others in your household if possible and should not have any visitors.

So you will need to be prepared to isolate for this length of time. You must isolate at home until your lesions have fallen off and the skin has healed over. A doctor will need to confirm your lesions are healed before you can leave isolation. This can take 2-4 weeks.

Mpox is a relatively mild infection for most people, and usually gets better by itself within 2 - 4 weeks. It is important to drink lots of fluids, and remember that taking pain relief can help with body aches, headache, and fever.

Occasionally people with mpox can become very sick. If your symptoms are unmanageable or especially painful, contact your primary healthcare provider.

If you are feeling very unwell, or you have trouble breathing or severe pain, call 111. Tell the ambulance staff you have MPX and wear a mask when they arrive.

I have been identified as having had contact with a person with mpox during their infectious period, what now? 

As mpox is an infectious illness that can be passed from person to person, there is a risk you may also acquire mpox.

What you need to do:

  • Look out for symptoms for 21 days from the date of your exposure.
  • Avoid intimate/sexual contact for the 21-day period.
  • If you develop any symptoms during this period, you should stay home, self-isolate, and contact your Te Whatu Ora contact for advice, and to arrange testing and medical care. You will be contacted daily by a Te Whatu Ora health professional to check in on how you are feeling.

 

You do not need to: 

  • Isolate.
  • Stay home from work or school.
  • Be tested for mpox if you do not have any symptoms or lesions. 
  • Tell other people that you live with, or have regular contact with, that you are a contact of a mpox case.

 

Last Updated: November 08

Why do I need to use condoms for 8-12 weeks after my Monkeypox (mpox) recovery? What types of sex is this for?

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It is important that you use condoms for 8-12 weeks following your mpox recovery as during that time, although you may not have lesions, there is still likely to be traces of mpox virus in semen. This may pose some risk of mpox infection You should use condoms for all types of sex as this risk is for any contact with any part of the body.

Do people who have already had mpox create any immunity to it?

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Yes! Once you’ve had mpox you are considered to have immunity to it for the near future. We don’t know however, how long the immunity to monkeypox post infection lasts – check with your health practitioner for more guidance.

Countries overseas are currently not recommending vaccination for mpox post infection during this outbreak. If you had mpox a while ago, you should check with your health practitioner.

Are household contacts considered close contacts? What about if I’m not having sex with them?

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Household contacts who have spent more than three hours indoors with you are considered close contacts and do have a risk of getting mpox from you, even if these contacts are not sexual partners. They do not have to quarantine as long as they remain well and have no symptoms.  The other good news is that you can reduce the risk of these people getting mpox by following public health guidance (e.g. sanitising surfaces after use, minimising face to face contact, not sharing towels or linen, not preparing food for them, washing laundry on the hottest setting possible).

If you do get a positive test result for mpox, a Public Health professional will be in touch to discuss this with you and the options you have available to support you. They will also ask you about your living situation as any people at higher risk of getting mpox from you may need to be informed they’re close contacts so they can protect themselves against the infection. If any identifiable information does need to be shared with others, your right to privacy will be respected and this will always be discussed with you first.

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