Pre-and Post-Exposure Vaccination
There are two vaccines available in the U.S. to prevent mpox. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for certain individuals with a high risk of occupational exposure. However, most clinicians and laboratorians are not advised to receive PrEP at this time. In some circumstances, vaccination may be recommended after exposure to mpox virus for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Ideally, vaccination should be received within four days of the exposure to prevent disease. (MDH Website)
Clinics Offering Vaccination
- Red Door Services has treatment options available for people who are experiencing mpox symptoms.
- Call 612-543-5555 during normal business hours M-F 8-4 pm to request an appointment, stay on hold. You no longer have to ask to leave a message for a specific person.
- Clinic 555 in Saint Paul call 651-266-1255 for more information.
Please note this these are public health clinics with a sexual health focus. This, unfortunately, perpetuates the myth that MPX is a sexually transmitted infection. Transmission of MPX occurs during casual contact.
How Do I Take Care of Myself If I Test Positive?
If you are having symptoms of mpox, there are ways to take care of yourself using over-the-counter or prescribed medications, items bought at the store, or practices you can maintain while you are infectious.
- First, isolate yourself from others and pets until your lesions have healed over with new skin and your symptoms have resolved.
- Avoid itching and touching your lesions. If you touch them, wash your hands well with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You can also use medical grade gloves (as opposed to Vinyl gloves which tear more easily) for touching the lesions when applying topical pain relief, bathing, etc. After you touch your lesions don’t touch any other part of your body and throw the glove away. It is possible to spread lesions from one part of your body to another. While having lesions you should NOT use contacts or shave the areas that have lesions.
- Cover your lesions with bandaids if you expect to come into contact with others or leave the home. Using a little petroleum jelly under the bandage may help you scar less.
- Clean commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, remotes, etc. with a disinfecting spray or wipe. For fabric surfaces that come into contact with lesions such as couches and chairs, spray with a mist disinfecting spray such as Lysol.
- Use disposable paper towels after washing your hands instead of hand towels. Only use a towel once and then put it in the wash. Even better, use a paper towel to dry areas with lesions.
- Wash your sheets often with hot water and detergent, especially if your lesions are uncovered while you sleep. Wearing pajamas can help cover your lesions while you sleep and prevent transmission to bedding.
- To reduce itching take an Epsom salt bath or use Domeboro in a warm bath to help with itchiness and assist in healing your lesions. Use a fan on sores when you get done soaking. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and calamine lotion can also help reduce itchiness.
- To help with pain and reduce fever use ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or Naproxen. Contact your health provider if more pain relief is needed. Lidocaine is a common over-the-counter anesthetic that can numb pain by blocking the signals at the nerve endings in the skin. Aspercreme Lidocaine spray works well for non-genital mpox. Proctofoam can be used for rectal pain. A cream or gel-based lidocaine can be used for genital sores.
- To reduce constipation or pain with defecation use stool softeners such as Docustate (Colace) and drink plenty of water.
- Use a salter water rinse or ask your healthcare provider about “magic mouthwash” to reduce swelling and pain from oral lesions.
- Stay hydrated, rest, and use a mask when being around others for prolonged periods of time (3+ hours).
What is TPoxx?
TPoxx or tecovirimat is a medication that can help treat infections caused by pox viruses such as mpox. It can be given in a liquid injectable form but is more commonly given in pill form. It is typically taken for 14 days but your provider may suggest taking it for a shorter or longer amount of time. TPoxx is only given to people with severe infection or people who have mpox sores in sensitive areas that cause pain. Anecdotally TPoxx has been reported to accelerate healing of sores and in turn, decrease pain and other complications caused by mpox sores.
How Do I Get TPoxx?
Talk with your healthcare provider to see if you qualify for TPoxx. Not every healthcare provider is familiar with this medication and it may take some advocating on your part. Health care providers must obtain TPoxx through the Strategic National Stockpile by coordinating with local or state health departments. In order to start TPoxx you must complete several forms of paperwork including a consent form, an intake form, and a diary where you keep track of your symptoms and any changes as a result of taking the medication. You will be asked about your general health, any medications you are taking, and any allergies you have.
What Are the Risks Associated with TPoxx?
A complete list of risks of taking TPoxx is not known. It has not been studied in people with weak immune systems, the elderly, or children. TPoxx capsules were tested in 359 healthy adults with 336 of these individuals taking the medication in pill-form twice a day for 14 days. No serious problems occurred in any of the participants in these studies. Regardless, TPoxx may still cause some adverse effects. Some of the most common adverse effects when taking the medication are headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and dizziness (when taken in injection form). As with any medication, there is a potential for allergic reaction. If you are chestfeeding or pregnant, please let your healthcare provider know.
What are the Costs of TPoxx?
The CDC is providing this medication for free. Other costs associated with your visit (such as provider time, testing, etc.) will not be paid for by CDC and will need to be paid by you, your insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid.
For additional information on managing systems of MPX go to:
“What to do if you’re sick” CDC, MPX website
Managing Symptoms Red Door Clinic
If you have information, resources, or questions about this site of MPLSpox, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Call/text: 612-424-2231.