Last updated: Dec. 19, 2022
Anchor Health is working to help address the ongoing mpox outbreak through patient education, testing, treatment, and vaccination. Mpox is an evolving situation. Please check back frequently as we update this page with the latest information.
Explore our FAQ below to learn about mpox, its symptoms, how it is (and isn’t) spread, and more. Don’t have time to read? Watch 5 Things Sexually Active People Need to Know About Mpox from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you are an Anchor Health patient and are experiencing mpox symptoms as described below, please call 203-903-8308. Please do not come into our health centers before getting guidance over the phone. If you are not a patient, please contact your closest local health department.
Anchor Health has been selected as one of 13 sites in Connecticut to administer the Jynneos mpox vaccine. Due to extremely limited supply, vaccination is prioritized for individuals at the highest risk of exposure to someone with mpox.
To be considered eligible for the vaccine, individuals must live in Connecticut, including as a student or trainee, and show proof of residence, e.g., a valid photo ID or piece of mail addressed to you.
Individuals who meet at least one of the following criteria are eligible for the mpox vaccine:
- Had a sexual partner in the past 6 months who was diagnosed with mpox;
- Had multiple sexual partners in the past 6 months in a jurisdiction (e.g., city/state/country) with known mpox.
- Have a current partner who has multiple sexual partners in a jurisdiction with known mpox.
- Anticipate having a new sexual partner or partners in the next 6 months in a jurisdiction with known mpox.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, please fill out the screening form. Please do not use this form if you have had exposure to a lab-confirmed case of mpox. Please call 203-903-8308 to speak with a medical provider right away.
More information about considerations for the mpox vaccine is available through the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s mpox webpage.
Mpox is a virus related to smallpox but is significantly less likely to cause life-threatening illness. Mpox can affect anyone regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation, but recent clusters have occurred in—mostly—cisgender men who have sex with men.
As reported by the CDC, there are several ways for mpox to spread.
“Mpox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
- Direct contact with mpox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with mpox.
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with mpox.
- Contact with respiratory secretions.
This direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including:
- Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) of a person with mpox.
- Hugging, massage, and kissing.
- Prolonged face-to-face contact.
- Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with mpox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.
- A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.”
While most cases have occurred in cis men who have sex with men (MSM) who have had intimate contact with other MSM, anyone who is in close contact with a person who has mpox can get it.
Mpox presents as a rash that may look like a pimple, an ulcer or a firm bump. It may be associated with other symptoms like fever, fatigue, headache, swollen glands (lymph nodes) and anal/rectal pain. Many people have had mild, self-limited illnesses, but others have had severe pain, particularly rectal or oral pain, and rarely other complications.
Mpox is treated with fever-reducing medicines and creams to help with the pain. Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (Tpoxx), may be recommended for people who are at high risk for complications.
Some ways to protect yourself include:
- Using safer sex options (see link below)
- Checking with partners about whether they have a rash or any other early mpox symptoms, such as fevers, swollen glands, or body aches
- Avoiding large gatherings such as clubs, raves, sex parties, and saunas where you may have close, skin-to-skin contact with others
Find out more ways to reduce your risk of mpox exposure from the CDC’s Safer Sex, Social Gatherings, and Mpox webpage.
Most importantly, do not have sex and avoid close contact with others (including hugging, kissing, or sharing drinks). You should contact your medical provider right away. If you do not have a medical care provider, please contact your closest local health department.