Ochsner Health is a system that delivers health to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate.
Monkeypox is a rare infection caused by the monkeypox virus (MPV). MPV has similarities to the smallpox virus, although it is less serious, and it’s believed that childhood smallpox vaccination may provide some protection.
Monkeypox is rarely fatal but can cause serious illness and discomfort. The main symptoms of monkeypox are rash or skin lesions, which appear in all confirmed cases. Infected people may also experience fever, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and aches. Symptoms can occur 5-21 days after infection.
Monkeypox is spread through prolonged, close contact with an infected person which may include:
Anyone who has close contact with an infected individual may be at risk, especially people who have multiple sexual partners while contagious.
Pregnant people are at high risk for complications including a higher risk of pregnancy complications and loss, and a risk of transferring the infection to an infant before delivery.
If you suspect you’ve been exposed to MPV, self-monitor for symptoms, including fever and rash, for 21 days. If you don’t have symptoms, isolation is not needed, but it’s recommended that you do not donate blood until your monitoring period is completed.
If a rash develops following MPV exposure, quarantine and contact your physician or seek medical treatment for testing. Testing is currently only available for symptomatic people with a rash or skin lesion. Test results may take up to three weeks and those awaiting results are advised to quarantine until symptoms resolve and/or after receiving a negative test result.
There are no treatments specifically for monkeypox, but antiviral drugs used to treat smallpox may be used to treat MPV infections due to the similarities of the viruses. If you have tested positive for monkeypox, ask your doctor about treatment options.
Vaccinations are now available to individuals who may be at high risk for MPV exposure. Appointments are now available and can be booked on the MyOchsner app or website myochsner.org. Once you’ve logged in, select ‘Symptoms and Self Help’ from the main menu to find the monkeypox attestation and vaccine schedule. If you are unable to schedule online, call 844-888-2772.
Please review the Louisiana Department of Health’s vaccine eligibility here https://ldh.la.gov/page/monkeypox to determine if the vaccine is currently recommended and available to you.
People who may be eligible for vaccination include:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Louisiana Department of Health (LDH):
Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH):
Contact your Ochsner Health Team: