In alignment with the recent announcement by the World Health Organization and the concurrence of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, IDPH is now using the term “mpox” to refer to what has been known as monkeypox virus. This change is intended to enhance the response to mpox by using a term that does not conjure bias or stigma and to strengthen efforts to protect communities that are most impacted by the virus.
While there are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections, antiviral drugs used to treat smallpox can sometimes be used, as smallpox and monkeypox viruses are genetically similar. The primary medication available at this time is an antiviral called tecovirimat or TPOXX, and it is primarily recommended for patients who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.
If you have symptoms of monkeypox, talk to your health care provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox. If you do not have a health care provider, you can contact your local health department, by phone or email, for assistance in connecting with a provider and testing resources.