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Wednesday, June 7, 2023



Mpox(Monkeypox) is a rare disease caused by infection with the Mpox virus. It was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. The first human case of Mpox was recorded in 1970. Before 2022, nearly all U.S. cases were related to international travel to counties where the disease is commonly present or through imported animals.

Please refer to the CDC – Monkeypox 2022 U.S. Map & Case Count for nationwide and four corners count.

Mpox(Monkeypox) Vaccine in Navajo Nation

Two vaccines are currently authorized or approved in the U.S. to prevent Mpox, JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. JYNNEOS is currently being used internationally to address Mpox.

The Navajo Area Indian Health Service and Tribal Health Organizations on the Navajo Nation has secured doses of the Mpox vaccines and are now available to the Navajo people at each of the healthcare facilities throughout the Navajo nation.

Signs and Symptoms

It may take 5-21 days to develop symptoms after exposure. People with Mpox will develop a rash located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face or mouth.

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and back backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing
  • The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy

The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

Sometimes people get a rash first, following the other symptoms. Other people only experience the rash.

Mpox may look like other diseases such as syphilis, it’s important to know, Mpox can be acquired by all people, regardless of gender, identity, or sexual orientation. It is not an STD/STI.

How It Spreads

Mpox spread in a few ways.

  • Direct skin-to-skin contact with infected rash, scabs, or body fluids.
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact such as, hugging, kissing, massage, cuddling, or having oral, anal, and vaginal sex with a person who has Mpox.
  • Touching or sharing items such as, clothing or linens that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
  • It’s also possible for people to get Mpox from infected animals, either by a scratch or bite, or preparing, eating the meat, or using products from an infected animal.


  • Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like Mpox.
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of the people with Mpox.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have sex with someone who has Mpox.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with Mpox used.
    • Do not share eating utensils, dishes or cups with a person who has Mpox.
    • Do not handle bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with Mpox.
  • Wash your hands often. Use soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
  • Avoid using portable fans, vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, or any other dry-cleaning methods.
  • Recommended wet cleaning methods are disinfecting wipes, sprays, mopping, and steam cleaning. Use disinfectants according to the manufacturer’s instructions for disinfecting surfaces.

What Do I Do if I Think I Might Have Been Exposed?

You should seek medical guidance from your health care provider.

If you have general questions, you can call the Navajo Area Monkeypox Warmline at (928) 380-7772

If You Are Sick With Mpox Or Suspect You Have Mpox

  • Isolate at home
  • If you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay home in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.
  • Transportation outside of the isolation room should be limited, and if required, the patient should wear a well-fitted surgical mask and have all lesions covered.
  • Contact your primary care physician for testing, care, and additional isolation information.


  • Contact your primary care physician for care.
  • There are no specific treatments for the Mpox virus
  • Mpox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antivirals drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat Mpox virus infections.
  • Antivirals, such as Tecovirimat (TPOXX) may be prescribed for patients with high risk for severe illness.

For other questions or information on resources, you can call the HCOC Hotline at (928) 871-7014.

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