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Family Planning does not offer testing for Monkeypox - if you're worried, contact your local sexual health clinic or your GP.

What is it?

Monkeypox is a viral disease. It's not very infectious.

To get infected you need to be in close contact with an infected person. Infection is more likely to occur in people coming from a country with a known outbreak. Information currently available shows that in the current outbreak people at high risk of infection include persons who had multiple or anonymous sexual partners and gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men (MSM).

How do you get it?

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people. You can get it through:

  • Sexual or very close contact with an infected person.
  • Kissing an infected person.
  • Contact clothing or linen (bedding or towels) used by an infected person
  • Direct contact with Monkeypox skin lesions or scabs.
  • Through droplets when an infected person breathes, talks, coughs, or sneezes.

What are the symptoms?

The first symptoms of Monkeypox are usually one or more of the things on the list below:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes (under your armpits)
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Backache
  • Tiredness

The Monkeypox rash usually starts a few days after infection. It starts at the place of infection and then spreads to other parts of the body. You may get a rash on the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, inside your mouth or around your genitals.

So you have Monkeypox: what now?

If you think you might have been exposed and you develop Monkeypox symptoms, particularly a rash, you should isolate from others and see your nurse or doctor. Wear a mask and call your nurse or doctor to let them know you will be attending. If you have a rash or blisters, make sure these are covered.

It is also important to avoid close contact, including sexual activity, until you have been checked by a nurse or doctor.

Read more about Monkeypox on the Ministry of Health website.


Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.