Monkeypox (now known as MPX) Information

About MPX 

MPX is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the MPX virus. MPX infection causes a rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, often with an earlier flu-like illness. MPX can spread to anyone through close, personal, and often skin-to-skin contact. MPX is a disease caused by a virus not commonly seen in the United States.

MPX virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus which includes the variola (smallpox) virus as well as the vaccinia virus, which is used in the smallpox vaccine. MPX is of public health concern because the illness is similar to smallpox and can be spread from infected humans, animals, and materials contaminated with the virus. MPX is less transmissible and usually less severe than smallpox.

There is a recent significant increase in reported cases where MPX is not commonly seen, including in Europe, Canada, the United States, and California. While it's important to stay alert about any emerging public health outbreaks, the current risk of getting MPX in the general public is very low.  


MPX often begins as flu-like symptoms. It also appears as a distinctive rash or sores or spots that can look like pimples or blisters on the skin anywhere on the body, especially in the genital area. Spots can also be inside the rectum or butt, on fingers, or in the mouth or eyes.

Generally, the spots start as red, flat spots, and then become bumps. Those bumps then become filled with fluid which turns to pus. The pus bump then breaks and crusts over into a scab. The scabs may be itchy.

Some people never get a rash. They may have a fever, or swollen glands or muscle aches. Some people get a rash and other symptoms together. Or one after the other.  And for some people, symptoms start with a fever and only two or three spots.

Some people have also reported pain or discomfort inside their rectum.


MPX spreads primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, hugging, massaging, and cuddling. MPX can spread through touching materials used by a person with MPX that haven’t been cleaned, such as clothing and bedding. It can also spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact.    

  • MPX can be spread through:
    • Direct skin-skin contact with rash lesions 
    • Sexual/intimate contact, including kissing  
    • Living in a house and sharing a bed with someone
    • Sharing towels or unwashed clothing
    • Respiratory secretions through prolonged face-to-face interactions (the type that mainly happen when living with someone or caring for someone who has MPX)
  • MPX is NOT spread through:
    • Casual brief conversations 
    • Walking by someone with MPX, like in a grocery store


There are number of ways to prevent the spread of MPX, including: 

  • Always talking to your sexual partner/s about any recent illness and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus
  • Avoiding close contact, including sex, with people with symptoms like sores or rashes
  • Practicing good hand hygiene
  • People who become infected should isolate themselves until their symptoms are improving or have gone away completely.  The rash should always be well covered until completely healed.
  • Using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (like a mask, gown, and gloves) when caring for others with symptoms
  • Avoiding contact with infected materials contaminated with the virus
  • Avoiding contact with infected animals 

What to do if you have had an exposure or symptoms

If you have had an exposure, have symptoms you are concerned about, or otherwise need to speak with someone about your risk, please reach out to your primary care provider for a phone or video appointment. 

  • Students can do this via a secure message or by calling the Nursing Triage line at 415-476-1281
  • Faculty and staff should reach out to their primary care provider. 


To get vaccinated at UCSF, you must make an appointment. All available appointments are listed in our online portal, MyChart, and we cannot accept walk-ins. Please do not come to the emergency room for MPX vaccines or testing.

If you are a UCSF patient, you can schedule an appointment through MyChart. If you are new to UCSF, create a MyChart account (click the "Sign up now" button to get started) or call (415) 502-3566. Please note that the supply of MPX vaccines at UCSF is extremely limited. New appointments will be added as soon as more doses become available.

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital vaccine clinic for MPX will reopen for walk-ins on Monday August 1, 2022, 8am-noon and will be open each day M-F 8am-noon until the supply is exhausted.

SHCS does not currently have a supply of MPX vaccines. 

The following locations have supplies of MPX Jynneos vaccine by appointment only: 

  • San Francisco City Clinic: 628-217-6600
  • Strut: 415-581-1600
  • Some San Francisco Kaiser Permanente locations: 415-833-9999
  • San Francisco Immunization and Travel Clinic: 415-554-2625
  • Steamworks Baths, in Berkeley, has a walk-in vaccination clinic on Wednesdays July 20, July 27, and August 3: 510-845-8992

For more information please visit and

Safer Sex, Social Gatherings, and MPX