Mpox (“Monkeypox”)

Mpox is used as a synonym for the disease “monkeypox”. This is to prevent possible stigmatisation of those affected. Men who have sex with men are among the groups of people at increased risk.

Monkeypox virus is transmitted through direct contact with the skin and mucous membranes, as well as through contact with infected secretions from one or more blisters or lesions on the skin or mucous membranes of the infected person. Mpox viruses can also be transmitted through the scab, respiratory secretions and body fluids.


Usually the first signs are high fever, muscle and joint pain, enlarged lymph glands and severe headache. A skin rash appears 1 to 5 days later. However, atypical courses have also often been observed. For example, not all sufferers had a fever, and some people had few or no pustules. Some people complain of pain or itching at the skin lesions. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab that later falls off, leaving healthy skin underneath.


Some of the cases are mild, but a significant proportion of people have severe pain and require several days to weeks of not only over-the-counter painkillers, but sometimes also morphine derivatives. Some people have pronounced skin lesions and may be disfigured for a long time by scarring of the face and genitals. In rare cases, complications such as bacterial infections of the skin lesions or inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) may occur.

Suspicion of monkeypox?

If you feel unwell with a fever and get a rash a few days later, get tested with us. Please don’t just drop by. Disinfect or wash your hands regularly and wear a face mask if you have to be around other people. Avoid skin contact with other people. Do not share plates, cutlery, bedding, towels or other linen. Abstain from sex until the results of the smear test are in.

Minimise risk

Get vaccinated. Unvaccinated people have a 14-fold higher risk of becoming infected with Mpox (s. CDC). Vaccination also protects against painful, severe courses. By vaccinating, you are protecting the community because you are helping to prevent mpox from spreading.

Not the entire population needs to be vaccinated. Vaccination is useful for people who are at high risk of contracting Mpox. These are:

  • cis men with changing male sex partners
  • trans persons with changing male sex partners
  • medical personnel who come into contact with the virus
  • anyone who has had close contact with an infected person
Grundsätzlich gilt: Achten Sie auf Ihr Umfeld und erkennen Sie mögliche Risikofaktoren für eine Übertragung. Places with a lot of contact and little or no clothing increase the risk of transmission. Talk openly with your sex partners about the current situation. Reduce your sex partners or arrange exclusive sex dating circles. Use condoms more often (they protect as effectively as HIV, but still better than direct skin-to-skin contact), try new types of play with little or no physical contact, and get vaccinated immediately if offered. If you or your sex partner has/have rashes, refrain from any kind of sex – including kissing or touching – while you or your sex partner is/are sick.


Early vesicle, ⌀ 3 mm

Small pustule, ⌀ 2 mm

Umbilicated pustule, ⌀ 3-4 mm

Ulcerated lesion, ⌀ 5 mm

Crusting of a mature lesion

partially removed scrab

Quelle: UK Health Security Agency

Cases in Switzerland