Massachusetts Medical Society: Incubation Period, Symptoms and Contagiousness

Incubation Period, Symptoms and Contagiousness

Infection with mpox (formerly monkeypox) virus begins with an incubation period. A person is not contagious during this period. Incubation period is roughly 1-2 weeks. A person may or may not have symptoms. Persons with mpox will develop an early set of symptoms (prodrome). A person may sometimes be contagious during this period. Mpox signs and symptoms include flu-like symptoms such as fever and swollen lymph nodes. Following the prodrome, a rash with pimple or blister-like lesions will develop in the mouth and on the body. Lesions progress through several stages before falling off. Mpox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People with mpox who do not require hospitalization should follow CDC’s Isolation and Prevention Practices for People with Mpox.

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