Skip to main content

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a disease caused by an infection with the orthopox virus. The virus belongs to same family as the smallpox virus, and cowpox virus. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

How It Spreads

Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to-person through:

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox
  • Contact with respiratory secretions
  • Prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding or towels) and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox
  • Pregnant women can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta

The virus can also spread between animals and people. Learn more. 

Symptoms and What You Should Do

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that can appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.



If you notice a new or unexplained rash or other monkeypox symptoms, please see a healthcare provider.

Local providers must report all suspected monkeypox cases to Cattaraugus County Health Department.

Call (716) 373-8050.


Are there treatments available?

  • Most adults with Monkeypox virus infection experience self-limiting infection (resolves on it’s own).
  • Vaccines exist that can help reduce the chance and severity of infection in those who have been exposed.
  • There are no treatments specifically for the monkeypox virus infection. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections.
  • For those who develop a rash or skin lesions be sure to keep rash areas clean and dry to protect against secondary infections.
  • Those who experience a painful rash or skin lesions should contact a healthcare provider about medication to help with pain management. 


Prevention Tips

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

NYSDOH Latest Updates

NYSDOH’s Healthcare Provider Information page

Information for Travelers

Monkeypox and Sexual Health - What You Should Know


Vaccine Options

September 29, 2022: The New York State Department of Health has provided 200 JYNNEOS vaccine doses to Cattaraugus County. Due to the limited supply, we are reserving these doses for residents at highest risk of infection. Cattaraugus County residents must meet current eligibility criteria set by New York State in order to register for an appointment. 

Upcoming Vaccine Clinic Information

Cattaraugus County Health Department will host the following vaccination clinic:

Thursday, September 29, 2022

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Cattaraugus County Health Department

Olean Clinic

1 Leo Moss Drive

Olean, NY 14760

Register for Appointment

Catt. County is an Accredited Health Department by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB)