Mpox (Monkeypox)

Mpox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the mpox virus. The mpox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus, which includes the variola (smallpox) virus as well as the vaccinia virus, which is used in the smallpox vaccine. Mpox is a public health concern because it can be transmitted person-to-person and can cause severe disease in humans. Although mpox virus is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, it is less transmissible and typically less severe than smallpox.

Mpox was first identified in 1958 and primarily occurs in Central and West African countries. Historically, mpox has been rare in the U.S. and has mostly been related to international travel or the importation of animals. In 2022, there has been a significant increase in reported cases in locations where mpox is not commonly seen, including Europe, Canada, and the United States, including California. While it's good to stay alert about any emerging public health outbreaks, the current risk of mpox for the general public is very low.

Mpox in Kern County

Number of Probable/Confirmed Cases


as of March 7, 2024

NOTE: A confirmed case has tested positive specifically for mpox virus. A probable case has tested positive for orthopox virus with no suspicion of other recent orthopox exposure.

Looking for an mpox vaccination?

  • Contact your healthcare provider
  • Call (661) 321-3000 to make an appointment at the Kern County Public Health Services Department
  • Check MyTurn for other options.
Get vaccinated for Mpox and earn up to $100. Available through Friday, June 28, 2024. Must be 18 years or older living with HIV to receive the gift card. Restrictions apply. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your community. Call (661) 321-3000 to make an appointment at Kern County Public Health or email Mpox is a disease that can cause flu-like symptoms and distinct rashes, sores, and bumps on my body. While Mpox is rarely fatal, symptoms can be extremely painful, and you might have infections or permanent scarring resulting from rashes and sores. Mpox vaccines are safe, effective, available, and free. Symtoms: Rash, fever, headache, aches, chills.