• Monkeypox is a virus that spreads through prolonged skin to skin contact, sex, kissing, breathing at very close range, or sharing bedding and clothing.
  • Monkeypox is rare and currently a low threat to the general public.
  • It can be serious, though most cases resolve on their own. Seeing a doctor right away is important.
  • Having sex or close physical contact with multiple people can put you at higher risk for monkeypox if it is spreading in the community.
  • It appears as a distinctive rash or sores on the skin anywhere on the body, especially in the genital area. It often begins as flu-like symptoms.
  • It is possible that pets could become infected or contaminated with the virus through close contact with an infected person and spread the virus to others.
  • We are working with state and federal agencies to monitor for monkeypox, and to help control the spread of the virus.

Here are some images* of what monkeypox can look like (click on image to enlarge):

* “Monkeypox rash” by NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

  • Cover exposed skin in crowds
  • Don't share bedding or clothing with others
  • Talk to close physical and sexual contacts about their general health like recent rashes or sores
  • Stay aware if traveling to countries where there are outbreaks
  • Cover the area of the rash with clean, dry, loose-fitting clothing
  • Wear a well-fitted mask
  • Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others
  • Contact a health care provider as soon as possible
  • Assist public health officials to track others who may have been exposed
  • See the CDC webpage Pets in the Home for information about what do if you have a pet
  • If you do not have healthcare provider or coverage, contact (831) 454-4114

Screen regularly for sexually transmitted infections. Syphilis and herpes are much more common than monkeypox – they appear similar and should be treated too.

Monkeypox Vaccine

Santa Cruz County Public Health has received the Jynneos vaccine from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for preventative use in people who are at high risk because they were notified of an exposure within the past 14 days.

The Jynneos vaccine is for preventative use only and is a two-dose vaccine that is administered 28 days apart and has been approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration for safe and effective monkeypox prevention.

We are working with healthcare systems to expand the locations of vaccines to their members and patients, while ensuring an equitable distribution to people who are uninsured, disconnected from care, or are from underserved communities.

Currently, Santa Cruz County residents are eligible for 1st and 2nd doses of the Jynneos vaccine if they meet at least one of the risk criteria below:

  • Individuals who had direct physical contact with someone confirmed to have MPX
  • Individuals notified by another health department or facility that they have had direct physical contact with someone who has tested positive for MPX
  • Gay, bisexual and other men or trans people who have sex with men, who have recently had more than 1 sexual partner
  • Sex workers or anyone who engages in transactional or survival sex
  • Individuals who attended an event or venue where a person contagious with monkeypox was at the event or venue and had direct physical contact with other people there

How to Access Vaccine

Eligible patients can schedule a vaccine appointment by calling (833) 437-1830, Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 6:00 pm. Appointment availability remains limited due to supply. Additional appointments will open as vaccine supply increases. For additional information and updates, patients may visit the Sutter Health MPX Webpage. If you are eligible and unable to get an appointment, please call your healthcare provider.

  • Call your healthcare provider to find out if you are eligible to receive the Jynneos vaccine.

Vaccine Resources


California Dept of Public Health (CDPH) Monkeypox Information and Alerts

CDC Monkeypox Information

If you have questions or need information regarding possible Monkeypox cases
call the Public Health Department Communicable Disease Unit at (831) 454-4114