SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- Mpox (monkeypox) is a disease that is caused by infection with the mpox virus. It typically results in a mild illness associated with a rash. It is spread mostly through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has mpox. Most people recover within a few weeks.
What are the symptoms of mpox?
The rash can be painful and affect any part of the body. The most commonly affected parts include the genitals, area around the anus and buttocks, inside the mouth, face, hands, arms, feet and legs. The rash may involve vesicles, pustules, pimples or ulcers. The number of lesions varies. The rash may change and go through different stages, like , before finally becoming a scab that falls off.
Other general symptoms can occur before or alongside the rash.
Symptoms can develop up to 21 days from last exposure to a person infected with mpox.
What do you need to do as a high-risk contact?
If you are identified as a high-risk contact it means that you have been in close contact with a person with mpox while they were infectious, which puts you at risk of becoming infected.
Local Public Health Units (LPHUs) follow up high-risk contacts to advise them about the need to monitor for symptoms and to follow precautions. You will need to monitor for symptoms for 21 days after exposure. In some instances, you may be offered a vaccine following exposure to reduce your risk of mpox.
A public health officer from an LPHU will contact you regularly during this time to check how you are doing and to see if you have developed any symptoms.
In addition, for 21 days after exposure, you should:
- Avoid close contact with others, particularly those at higher risk of severe disease such as children, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system.
- Do not visit high risk settings such as childcare, aged care, and healthcare facilities unless seeking medical attention.
- Work from home if possible (LPHUS will provide advice on a case-by-case basis to workers in settings such as childcare, aged care, and healthcare facilities who need to attend work).
- Avoid sexual activity.
- Avoid contact with animals, particularly dogs and rodents (such as mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and squirrels).
- Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres at all times from others including in the home.
- Wear a surgical mask when in the same room as other people and when outside the home.
- Do not donate blood, cells, tissue, breast mild, semen, or organs.
What should you do if you develop symptoms of mpox?
If you develop symptoms of mpox you should stay at home, restrict your contact with others, and seek medical care and testing without delay.
Wear a mask and call your GP clinic, , or your nearest sexual health service to let them know you will be attending and that you are a high-risk close contact. If you have any rashes, lesions, sores or scabs make sure these are covered.
Contact your LPHU to let them know you have developed symptoms.
Where can you get help?
- Always call an ambulance in an emergency (triple zero) Tel. 000
- Emergency department of your nearest hospital
- Tel. (24 hours, 7 days) – for confidential health advice from a registered nurse
- Tel. or or TTY (for the hearing impaired) Tel.
- (formerly Victorian AIDS Council) Tel. or
- Counselling and support services are available through your GP or health service. Further information can also be found on the