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  • Writer's pictureMehwish Ali

The Monkeypox Outbreak

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a disease that has been around since the 1950s. Monkeypox gets its name from when a monkey was first discovered with the disease in 1958. Since then, case numbers around the world have increased. The Monkeypox virus is a part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.

Symptoms of Smallpox vs Monkeypox

Symptoms of Smallpox can include:

  • Fever

  • Muscle aches

  • Headaches

  • Severe fatigue

  • Severe back pain

  • Vomiting

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


Preventing Monkeypox

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people with 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.


If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should see a healthcare provider who can take samples from you and send them out to a public health laboratory for testing. Currently, there is no at-home testing option available for this virus. If you do not have a provider, call 311 or go to your nearest CityMD urgent care.

Testing involves a provider taking a swab of a sore. Until your results come in, isolate yourself at home and if you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.

Who is eligible to get the Monkeypox vaccine in NYC?

Eligibility for monkeypox vaccination may change as the outbreak evolves and is based on vaccine supply. The vaccine is free and available regardless of immigration status or residency.

People who meet all of the following conditions can now be vaccinated:

  • Your partners are showing symptoms of monkeypox, such as a rash or sores.

  • You met recent partners through online applications or social media platforms or at clubs, raves, saunas, or other large gatherings.

  • You have a condition that may increase your risk for severe disease if infected with the monkeypox viruses, such as HIV or another condition that weakens your immune system, or you have a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema.

  • People who have been informed by the Health Department that they are in close contact with someone with monkeypox.

  • Sex workers and anyone is engaging in survival sex or any other transactional sex (including sex in exchange for money, food, shelter, or other goods) of any sexual orientation or gender identity.

How can I get a vaccine in New York City?

Schedule from the Health Department Website

The Health Department has a website where people can book an appointment. Appointments are available for September. If they get booked, people are recommended to check back in case of any cancellations.

Schedule by Phone

To schedule an appointment by phone please call 877-VAX-4NYC or 877-829-4692.

Assistance for people with disabilities

People with disabilities can select their reasonable accommodations online here, or, if you need help making an appointment because of a disability, you can call 877-VAX-4NYC or 877-829-4692 or email To learn more about vaccination help for people with disabilities, visit here.

Free Transportation Options

If you are either over the age of 65 or have a disability, and you:

  • Cannot use public transportation

  • Cannot use private transportation

  • Cannot rely on friends or family members for transport

There are several programs available to facilitate transportation to a vaccination site:

  • People with access-a-Ride access can contact them at (877) 337-2017.

  • People with Medicaid-provided transportation can use their usual contact number to schedule transport. Alternatively, they can call (844) 666-6270.

For more information on Monkeypox visit:

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