Mpox is a zoonotic disease that is caused by infection with the mpox virus. Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans and humans to humans. It is endemic in parts of Africa and has recently spread to many countries around the world.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is currently tracking cases of mpox which have been detected in the United States. Harris County Public Health urges healthcare providers across the county to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with mpox.

Harris County Situation Update

The HHS Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices currently recommends vaccination for those at high risk following confirmed mpox exposures. The general threat of mpox to the public is considered LOW at this time. However, scientists at the CDC are tracking multiple cases of mpox that have been reported in several countries that don’t normally report mpox including the United States.

Mpox vaccinations are available to individuals who have been directly exposed to mpox and/or are at a moderate to high risk of contracting the mpox virus. It is not recommended for everyone and will be provided to residents pending authorization from the local health department in partnership with a primary care provider or approved medical group.

HCPH also calls on our local healthcare partners to be vigilant and report cases of mpox to their local health department immediately when confirmed. HCPH’s disease surveillance team will monitor suspected cases in Harris County and guide individuals who may have come in contact with a mpox case.

Harris County Public Health will continue to monitor and provide mpox guidance and vaccination opportunities for residents as the situation continue to unfold.  

For more information contact:

Mpox Hotline:

Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Calls made after hours will be answered within 24 hours.

Title Documents

Mpox Hotline Flyers

English Spanish

Mpox FAQs

English Spanish

How to Test for Mpox

English Spanish

Mpox Vaccine Eligibility Information

English Spanish

Mpox Guidance

English Spanish

Mpox Dashboard

On January 31, 2023, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the federal public health emergency declaration related to Mpox will not be renewed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is currently a low-level transmission of Mpox in the United States, and as a result, the CDC will no longer update Mpox case counts. Archival national data related to MPox cases for 2022-2023 can be viewed on the CDC website.

Due to these reporting changes, the Harris County Mpox dashboard will be archived as of May 31, 2024. HCPH will continue to work closely with the Houston Health Department (HHD) to monitor and track Mpox cases in the county and provide quarterly updates to the website if warranted. In the event of a resurgence in cases, HCPH may reinstate the dashboard to ensure transparent and timely communication of relevant data.

Mpox Dashboard Information

Why New Case Rates Matter

Controlling the rate of mpox transmission is important. The number of daily new cases is an important indicator of the success of controlling mpox transmission through the current public health interventions. We have averaged the daily new cases over the previous 14 days to account for reporting delays.

Data Source*: Harris County Public Health (HCPH), Houston Health Department (HHD) 
Formula: The average of the total number of new* cases in the past 14 days, divided by the population of Harris County, multiplied by 100,000 

* A new case is a case with a symptom onset date or a specimen collection date within the past 14 days. Due to lab turnaround and the reporting of results to local public health departments, cases may be reported and confirmed more than 14 days after the specimen collection date or the date of symptom onset. As a result, case rates may change over time.  

Why New Case Trends Matter

As Harris County monitors day-to-day trends, a 14-day flat trend or decreasing trend in new cases will indicate the spread of the disease is slowing. The closer the trend is to 0, the better indication that the spread is slowing. A positive number indicates the disease is transmitting more quickly than in previous days, 0 indicates constant spread, and a negative number indicates a slow disease transmission.

Data Source*: Harris County Public Health (HCPH), Houston Health Department (HHD)
Formula: The 14-day slope of newly reported cases vs Day

* A newly reported case is a case with a symptom onset date or a specimen collection date within the past 14 days. Due to lab turnaround and the reporting of results to local public health departments, cases may be reported and confirmed more than 14 days after the specimen collection date or the date of symptom onset. As a result, new case trends may change over time.  

CDC Mpox Case Map

The CDC has produced a Mpox case map that includes all confirmed cases of mpox in the country. This map is updated daily. Residents can view the map by clicking here and downloading case count information at the bottom of the page.

For additional information regarding the mpox virus, please visit the CDC's website.

Prevention and Treatment Options

What actions can be taken to prevent infection with the mpox virus?

Take the following steps to prevent getting mpox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with mpox symptoms. 
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with a person who has mpox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with mpox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with mpox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • If you are sick with mpox, isolate yourself at home and stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.

What treatments are available?

The JYNNEOS vaccine is a two-dose, safe vaccine that is administered as a live virus that is non-replicating. The vaccine is used for protection against smallpox and mpox in individuals 18 years and older determined to be at high risk for smallpox or mpox infection. People who receive JYNNEOS are not considered vaccinated until they receive both vaccine doses, which are given four weeks apart. Full protection is not conferred until two weeks after receipt of the second dose.

Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.

Who can I reach out to for more information?

HCPH encourages residents to call their primary care provider if they begin to experience symptoms or fear they may have been exposed to someone with mpox.

For more questions or guidance regarding mpox, residents can call the HCPH mpox hotline at 832-927-0707.  

Mpox Vaccination Strategy

The mpox vaccine is only for eligible residents who meet the criteria below and is subject to availability (first-come-first-served basis).


  • Are confirmed to have had known contact with someone with the mpox virus
  • Are aware that a recent (within the past 14 days) sex partner was diagnosed with mpox virus
  • Attended an event or venue where there was a high risk of exposure to someone with confirmed mpox virus through skin-to-skin or sexual contact


  • Works in certain occupational exposure risk groups, such as research laboratory personnel working with orthopoxviruses, clinical laboratory personnel performing diagnostic testing for orthopoxviruses, and orthopoxvirus and health care worker response teams
  • Has had multiple or anonymous sex partners, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation
  • Is a sex worker or staff (of any sexual orientation or gender) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs)
  • Has had a diagnosis of one or more sexually transmitted diseases (i.e. chlamydia, gonorrhea, or early syphilis) within the previous 12 months
  • Is HIV positive or on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • Is a sexual partner of people with the above risks
  • Anticipates experiencing the above risks
  • Has an immunocompromising condition that may increase their risk for severe disease if infected with the mpox virus, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema

People who fall under these eligibility requirements can get vaccinated by:

  • Contacting their doctor or healthcare provider to find out if they are providing the mpox vaccine.
  • Contacting their local health department to determine eligibility.

Please note: We are working with our local, state, and federal officials to procure more and will expand our current eligibility criteria if/when we receive more.

  • Residents who DO NOT meet the current eligibility criteria will NOT receive the vaccine.
  • Not everyone who meets the criteria will receive the vaccine if we run out.
HCPH's Role in Vaccination and Prevention Strategy

HCPH will work to protect human health through testing, case investigation, and vaccination to quickly identify, isolate and, treat individuals that have or may have mpox. HCPH may act in support of local healthcare providers who will take the lead on specimen collection and vaccine administration, when possible. The aim of this work, in addition to community and healthcare practitioner education on mpox and effective prevention techniques, is to limit the spread of mpox in Harris County. 

The general operational strategy for the HCPH response to the 2022 mpox Outbreak is composed of 5 major components: Education, Call Center, Testing, Case Investigation, and Vaccination.

Community Outreach and Education
Responding to inquiries on diagnosis, testing, and vaccination from healthcare providers and clinicians.

Call Center
Operate a call center to respond to public inquiries during business hours. Operate a separate 24/7 phone line to respond to public health and medical practitioner inquiries.

Determining eligibility for Mpox testing on a case-by-case basis. HCPH will help facilitate sample collection and transport by a private healthcare provider. Our agency will also send 'Field Testing Teams' to conduct sample collection when needed.

Case Investigation 
Taking a case history and conducting contact tracing. Our team will notify contacts that they may have been exposed and educate them on PEP vaccination and what symptoms to monitor.

Determining vaccine eligibility and whether people meet CDC/HCPH definition of at risk. Ordering and coordinating the delivery of vaccines from the federal strategic national stockpile. Facilitation of administration of the mpox vaccine and scheduling of a follow-up visit for a second dose when needed.

Additional Mpox Resources

Title Type

Notifying Close Contacts

What to Do If You Are Sick

Isolation and Infection Control At Home

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Texas Health and Human Services (DSHS)

World Health Organization Fact Sheet (WHO)

Mpox in Animals