Monkeypox

Last Updated: August 24, 2022

The Health Department is working closely with local, state and federal partners to provide information, guidance, and resources to Norwalkers to ensure they can protect themselves and others from Monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a rare virus, but it is not new. The first human case of monkeypox was detected in 1970. In May 2022, cases of monkeypox started to appear in the United States, Europe, and other places that had rarely or never seen monkeypox cases in the past

Guidance about monkeypox may change as more information becomes available. For updated information about symptoms, protection, data, and other general guidance, please see the CDC page embedded at the bottom of this page. 

What should I do if I have symptoms?

Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough), or a rash that looks like pimples or blisters on the face, inside the mouth, and/or on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. The rash may be painful or itchy, and it goes through several stages, including scabs, before healing.

If you have symptoms, call your healthcare provider to get tested. Notify them ahead of time that you are concerned about monkeypox and want to get a test so they can prepare accordingly. If you don’t have a healthcare provider, Urgent Care offices and hospitals can also conduct monkeypox tests. Only people with a rash can be tested. 

While you wait for your test, avoid close contact with partners, household members, and others. 

What should I do if I have been exposed to monkeypox?

If you are a CT resident who has had close personal contact in the past 14 days with a positive case of monkeypox (this may include sexual partners, household contacts, and healthcare workers), you are recommended to get a vaccine. 

Contact your health care provider or the Health Department at 203-854-7776 with questions or to confirm you are eligible for the vaccine. If you have had close contact with someone who has monkeypox, monitor for symptoms for 21 days (3 full weeks) after your exposure. If you develop symptoms, please isolate from others and contact your health care provider for a test.

Note: CDC recommends that the vaccine be given within 4 days from the date of exposure for the best chance to prevent the onset of the disease.

What if I haven’t been exposed to monkeypox but I am still concerned?

The CDC is not recommending widespread vaccination for the general population at this time. However, vaccines are currently available in limited supply at locations around the state for eligible individuals. According to the CT Department of Public Health, you are eligible to be vaccinated if you are residing, attending school, or stationed in Connecticut and meet one of the following:

  • You had close personal contact in the past 14 days with a positive case of monkeypox (this may include sexual partners, household contacts, and healthcare workers); OR
  • You meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • Had a sexual partner in the past 6 months who was diagnosed with monkeypox; OR
    • Had multiple sexual partners in the past 6 months in a jurisdiction (e.g., city/state/country) with known monkeypox; OR
    • Have a current partner who has multiple sexual partners in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox; OR
    • Anticipate having a new sexual partner or partners in the next 6 months in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox.

Please contact one of the vaccine providers in your area (see below) to determine if you're eligible. 

Where can I get the vaccine?

Right now, multiple locations throughout Connecticut currently offer the monkeypox vaccine, including Circle Care in Norwalk and locations in Stamford, Danbury, Bridgeport, and other cities and towns. If you meet the eligibility criteria listed above, please contact a vaccine provider directly. 

You can contact Circle Care Center (203-852-9525 or visit https://www.circlecarecenter.org/monkeypox-explained), and you can find the full list of vaccine providers can be here: https://portal.ct.gov/dph/epidemiology-and-emerging-infections/ct-monkeypox

PLEASE NOTE: You must have an appointment at one of these locations to receive a vaccine. Please be patient, as there is a limited supply of vaccine.

What else can I do to protect myself from monkeypox?

  • Be aware of new or unexplained rash on your body or your partner’s body
  • If you or your partner have recently been sick, currently feel sick, or have a new or unexplained rash: See a healthcare provider, and do not have sex or other close, intimate contact
  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox, and do not touch their rash or scabs
  • 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 bedding, towels, fetish gear, sex toys, or clothing of a person with monkeypox

What should I do if I have monkeypox?

To prevent spreading monkeypox to others, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people with monkeypox isolate until your rash has fully healed. The full illness typically lasts 2 to 4 weeks. If you need to go out for medical care or other reasons, cover your rash, wear a well-fitting mask, and avoid public transportation. For more information on isolation guidance, visit this CDC page.

Information for Healthcare Providers

Please visit the CT Department of Public Health Monkeypox page and scroll down to the "INFORMATION FOR HEALTH PROVIDERS" section for information about testing supplies and procedures, treatment, contact information for CT DPH, and other frequently asked questions. 

For More Information

CDC Resources