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The federal COVID-19 emergency is over.


Monkeypox: make sure you know more.


There’s a lot of talk about the spread of monkeypox these days. At Texas Health Aetna, we want our members to stay fully informed, safe and healthy – so visit this page regularly for updates. Here’s what we know so far.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is from the same family of viruses as smallpox, but is unrelated to chickenpox. Its symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.

What are the symptoms?

The virus causes flu-like symptoms and a rash that takes the form of pimples or blisters on the face, inside the mouth, and elsewhere: hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

How is it transmitted?

Unlike COVID-19, monkeypox is not airborne. You can only get it from close or intimate contact with someone who’s already infected.

Who’s at risk?

Currently the majority of infections are affecting some of the male LGBTQ+ populations, and the patterns are similar to an STD outbreak.

What precautions can be taken?

If you’re in the high-risk group, there are tips on the CDC website about staying safe, particularly anywhere there is close contact, whether privately, or at social gatherings like parties and festivals.

Is there a vaccine?

Yes, antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections. The CDC provides these antivirals to Texas and the Department of Health coordinates their availability and administration. They will be provided at no cost to recipients, but are not available through pharmacies or doctors’ offices yet - though we’ll update you as things change.

What to do if you have symptoms.

If you have symptoms that resemble monkeypox, please talk to your doctor directly, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.

Where to find out more.

Visit the CDC website for more detailed information on signs, symptoms, transmission and treatment.
Visit the CDC

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