A black father putting a medical mask on the face of his little girl, protecting her from Monkeypox transmission.

What is Monkeypox and How to Get Tested?

A black father putting a medical mask on the face of his little girl, protecting her from Monkeypox transmission.

Monkeypox, or Mpox, is a highly infectious viral disease that spreads from person to person. For years, cases of monkeypox1 in humans occurred only in remote villages in rural areas of Africa without adequate medical staff or resources. However, monkeypox has recently spread to many other parts of the world, making it an epidemic. 

If you want to know more about the severity and dangers of monkeypox, including methods of prevention and ways to get tested, you have come to the right place. Monkeypox, while dangerous, can be prevented with proper testing and vaccination as long as you know your options.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a viral disease first discovered in the late 1950s and belonged to the same family of viruses (orthopoxviruses) to which smallpox belongs. While monkeypox hasn’t been a widespread problem in the United States, it could soon become one because of how contagious and widespread it has become.

Growing concern about monkeypox has led to increased awareness, testing, and prevention of the disease. Monkeypox does not discriminate based on age, race, or gender; everyone is prone to the disease.

Monkeypox Symptoms

The tricky thing about monkeypox is that you can get exposed to the disease but not show symptoms for up to three weeks. Once you start displaying symptoms, they can last several weeks, even up to a month. Here are some of the primary symptoms and signs of Mpox.

  • A rash similar to what happens with chickenpox or the shingles
  • Flu-like symptoms that worsen several days after they start
  • Feeling tired and exhausted all the time
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills

Except for the skin rash, many of the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of Covid and other viral infections. Therefore, rash remains the most indicative and uncomfortable sign of monkeypox. Your rash may consist of tiny blisters that gradually grow and fill with pus. As the disease progresses, these blisters eventually harden, get crusty, and fall off independently.

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Schedule your at-home lab test with Drip Hydration for a convenient, comprehensive, and professional healthcare experience tailored to your needs.

How is Monkeypox Transmitted?

Part of the reason that monkeypox has become so widespread is that it’s highly contagious. Monkeypox transmission is through direct contact with something contaminated with the disease. This contact may include people, animals, clothing, and other objects. Infection typically requires the person to either ingest the virus or have it enter through a cut or lesion on the skin.

Why Get Tested for Monkeypox?

Doctor with stethoscope preparing for taking a swab from their patient. If you were recently in a part of the world with a monkeypox epidemic, it’s important to get tested because you can carry the disease for up to three weeks before showing symptoms.

By that time, you may have unintentionally transmitted it to other people. While monkeypox might not be deadly or overly harmful to you, it can be fatal for people with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions. Getting tested is especially important if you’re showing signs of the monkeypox rash.

How to Get Tested for Monkeypox

If you’re concerned and want to get tested for monkeypox, you’ll have to go to a hospital, medical center, urgent care facility or call for at-home test. There, your doctor will ask questions about where you’ve been to determine if you may have come into contact with monkeypox.

If monkeypox is possible and you display symptoms and a rash, they will administer their test.

Monkeypox testing entails:

  1. Your healthcare provider will take a swab and aggressively run several lesions on your rash.
  2. They will send the swab to a lab for further testing.
  3. In several days, you’ll know whether or not you have monkeypox.
  4. In the meantime, you should avoid public areas so that you don’t unintentionally spread the disease.

The monkeypox test can be somewhat painful and uncomfortable, but it is a necessary step to stop the spread of the disease. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider once you think you’re no longer a disease carrier. Most cases of monkeypox go away in two to three weeks.


Monkeypox has a long incubation period, so getting tested as soon as possible is vital if you suspect that you might have monkeypox to help curb the spread of the disease.

If traveling to an area with a current Mpox outbreak, you should take the necessary precautions to ensure you don’t contract the disease. These healthy precautions include consuming clean drinking water and trusted foods, regular hand washing, and upkeeping general hygiene standards during your journey. Also, consider getting the monkeypox vaccine to reduce your risk of getting infected during your trip. 

Get a Lab Test

Schedule your at-home lab test with Drip Hydration for a convenient, comprehensive, and professional healthcare experience tailored to your needs.

Lab Testing - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to do lab tests occasionally?

It is important to do lab tests occasionally because they can provide valuable information about an individual's health and help to identify potential health issues early on. Lab tests can measure a wide range of factors, including blood count, cholesterol levels, liver and kidney function, and hormone levels, and can provide insight into an individual's overall health and wellness. Additionally, lab tests can help to diagnose and monitor the progression of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and can help to identify any potential health risks or concerns. By doing lab tests occasionally, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of potential health problems in the future.

What does a routine blood test cover?

A routine blood test is used to check for a range of things, including your blood count and the levels of certain chemicals and substances in your blood. Blood tests can also be used to check how well certain organs, such as your liver and kidneys, are functioning.

How is a blood sample collected for lab testing?

A blood sample for lab testing is typically collected through a process called venipuncture, which involves inserting a small needle into a vein to draw blood. This is usually done on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

What is the cost of a lab test?

In general, the cost of a lab test can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It is always best to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to get an accurate estimate of the cost of a lab test.

Read More: Lab Testing FAQ


[1] Gessain A, Nakoune E, Yazdanpanah Y. - Monkeypox. Published on Nov 10, 2022. N Engl J Med 2022; 387:1783-1793. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra2208860;