Skip to main content

Anyone, 6 months of age and older, is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Find your nearest vaccination location at vaccines.gov.

Monkeypox (MPV) Comparison to COVID-19 and STIs

Due to many similarities between MPV, COVID-19, and sexually transmitted infections (particularly syphilis), below is a comparison to display how MPV compares to these other infections:

How widespread?

Monkeypox (MPV)

Low

  • As of early September 2022, approximately 56,000 global cases, 21,000 in the U.S

COVID-19

Not Similar to MPV

High

  • Hundreds of millions of cases since the start of pandemic

Syphilis

Similar to MPV

Low

  • In 2020, there were 42,000 new cases of syphilis

How it is commonly spread

Monkeypox (MPV)

  • Primarily through direct contact with monkeypox rash or sores by very close and/or prolonged skin-to-skin contact
  • Respiratory droplets (kissing, coughing, or sneezing)
  • May spread during pregnancy to unborn baby

COVID-19

Similar to MPV

  • Through tiny droplets in the air by breathing, talking, sneezing, or coughing

Syphilis

Similar to MPV

  • Via skin-to-skin contact primarily through direct contact with syphilis rash or sores
  • May spread during pregnancy to unborn baby

Signs & Symptoms

Monkeypox (MPV)

  • Rash with blisters on face, hands, feet, body, eyes, mouth, anus/butt, or genital area. These may be painful!
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and back aches
  • Low energy

COVID-19

Similar to MPV

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches

Not Similar to MPV

  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Cold symptoms

Syphilis

Similar to MPV

  • Rash on body, hands, and feet
  • Sores in mouth, anus/butt, or genital areas

Not Similar to MPV

  • Though rash and sores are symptoms similar to monkeypox, syphilis rash and sores are typically NOT painful

Prevention

Monkeypox (MPV)

  • Avoid close physical contact with people that have symptoms
  • Check your partner/s for rash or sores
  • Avoid contact with contaminated materials
  • Wear PPE (mask, gloves, eye protection) if you can't avoid close contact with someone who has symptoms
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Get vaccinated (if eligible), mpoxvaxmap.org
  • Condoms & barrier methods may protect your anus/butt, mouth, penis, or vagina from exposure to MPV. However, condoms alone may not prevent all exposures to MPV since the rash and blisters can occur on other parts of the body.

COVID-19

Similar to MPV

  • Wear PPE (mask, gloves, eye protection) when around someone positive
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Get vaccinated (if eligible)
  • Meet others outdoors or in well ventilated spaces

Syphilis

Similar to MPV

  • Avoid intimate contact
  • Routine discussions with your partner/s and health care provider
  • Condoms & barrier methods may protect your anus/butt, mouth, penis, or vagina from exposure to syphilis. However, condoms alone may not prevent all exposures to syphilis since the rash and sores can occur on other parts of the body.