People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, abdomen, face, or mouth.
The rash looks very similar to the small blisters you get in chickenpox. They can be very painful, especially on the genitals and around or inside the anus. They can also be inside the mouth and on the tongue.
The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Muscle aches and backache
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
You may experience all or only a few symptoms. Some people with infection have reported none of the above symptoms with only the rash showing up.
- Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
- Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
How long do monkeypox symptoms last?
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. (4-21 days)
If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.
Monkeypox 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.
Click to learn: how monkeypox is transmitted
The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.