Monkeypox Facts

Monkeypox, is circulating throughout countries across the globe and has been identified in North Carolina, including WNC. It is essential that residents know the signs and symptoms of monkeypox and practice general public health guidance and social etiquette if symptomatic.

Monkeypox Facts

Monkeypox is an infection that causes sickness including a rash or sores, often with an earlier flu-like illness. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or bodily fluids
  • Sharing unwashed clothing, linens, or towels that have come in contact with monkeypox rash or body fluids
  •  Prolonged skin-to-skin contact like when hugging, touching, cuddling, and when being intimate with someone

Symptoms typically resolve within 2 to 4 weeks and are rarely life-threatening. Individuals experiencing symptoms should practice typical social etiquette and avoid close physical contact with others. While monkeypox is not an STI, it can be spread through sexual contact. Individuals should abstain from sexual activity with others until they are no longer symptomatic. Individuals are considered fully recovered after flu-like symptoms and rash/scabs are no longer present.

Monkeypox does not spread through casual conversations, touching shared smooth/solid surfaces like doorknobs and counters, or being in public around someone with monkeypox. Standard household cleaners and detergents are effective at cleaning environmental surfaces and linens that have had contact with the monkeypox rash or respective body fluids.

Individuals who experience symptoms or have been exposed to monkeypox should call their healthcare providers to get tested. If the individual does not have a healthcare provider, call Buncombe County Health and Human Services Health Clinic for an assessment and testing. To make an appointment, call (828) 250-5000.

It is essential that individuals understand the signs and symptoms of monkeypox and how to prevent/treat symptoms. Prevention is our best shot at dodging a wide-scale community outbreak. The Buncombe County Public Health Team encourages all residents to seek testing when symptomatic and avoid close physical contact with others until symptoms resolve within 2 to 4 weeks.

Here are some simple steps everyone can take to prevent the spread of monkeypox:

  • Talking to intimate partners about recent illnesses including unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus.
  • Avoid close or intimate contact with people who are experiencing symptoms like sores or rashes.
  • After testing, avoid close contact with others until symptoms, including rash and scabs, have completely gone away
  • Use PPE like gloves and a mask when caring for a symptomatic person, and
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and warm water for 20 seconds

If you or your partner have (or think you might have) monkeypox and you decide to have sex, consider the following to reduce the chance of spreading the virus:

  • Have virtual sex with no in-person contact.
  •  Masturbate together at a distance of at least 6 feet, without touching each other and without touching any rash or sores.
  •  Consider having sex with your clothes on or covering areas where rash or sores are present, reducing as much skin-to-skin contact as possible.
  • Avoid kissing.

Remember to wash your hands, fetish gear, sex toys, and any fabrics (bedding, towels, clothing)

It is essential that individuals understand the signs and symptoms of monkeypox and how to prevent/treat symptoms. Prevention is our best shot at dodging a wide-scale community outbreak. The Buncombe County Public Health Team encourages all residents to seek testing when symptomatic and avoid close physical contact with others until symptoms resolve within 2 to 4 weeks.


Reduce your Risk-Prevent the Spread

Prevention is the best way to reduce the impact of Monkeypox. Talk to your partner[s] before getting intimate about any new symptoms, especially rash. Rash or sores may appear anywhere on the body, including the groin. If either of you are symptomatic, find other ways to be intimate. 

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Mental Health Providers

Eric Davis  MS, LCPA, NCC, Counselor

Willow Wellness and Recovery, PC 9 All Souls Crescent  Suite B, Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 490-4137 | Website I am a firm believer in empowerment and self-determination. In the past, I have worked well with folks experiencing a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, substance-use, sleep disturbances, relationship issues, and issues unique to the LGBT community.

Scott Thomas,  Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LCAS

Silver Lining Therapy 70 Woodfin Place  STE 21, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 705-3084 | Website I believe humor can be a powerful tool for healing and seek to incorporate this into our time together. Unique to my practice is an approach that truly puts you at the center of the counseling experience, and I draw from a wide variety of techniques to help you see and experience real change in your life. To see if therapy might be a good fit, I offer free phone consultations.

James Harrison, PhD Psychologist

12 Westridge Dr , Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 348-6300 | Website I enjoy helping people achieve physical and emotional intimacy whether they are young or old, straight or gay, in healthy, responsible, and mutually affirming ways. I also enjoy helping people improve their earning and manage their assets. And I like working with older people. I offer free phone consultations.

Judy Maris, Counselor, LPC, LCPC, MA, MS

Maris Psychotherapy 41 Clayton St, Suite 301, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 537-4489 | Website We can explore troublesome patterns that tend to repeat themselves in your life or look at new issues that have just come up. The important thing is for us to work together to get to the bottom of your difficulties and resolve them. I will assist you in becoming more aware of what you are feeling and thinking in the present moment. The untapped wisdom within you is a powerful healing force. Let me help you gain access to your full inner resources. I offer free phone consultations.

Elizabeth Heaney, Counselor, MA, LPC 

166 E Chestnut Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (520) 447-3319 | Website I work with individual adults with concerns like: family history issues, relationship concerns, life satisfaction issues (related to jobs, living situations or relationships), anxiety and depression. I’ve had a particular focus on working with couples, addressing every aspect of relationship challenges – relationship dissatisfaction/boredom, affairs, sexual/intimacy issues, etc. And I was a civilian counselor on military bases for several years, so I have a clear understanding of the unique pressures and challenges facing service members and families. I offer free phone consultations.

Siljoy Maurer

Holistic Perspectives P.O. Box 333, Enka, NC 2872  Phone: (828) 333-0103  | or For many years now I have been mentoring men and women from all walks of life. It continues to be my greatest joy to accompany someone from “just being ok” into thriving! As a Mentor & Healer I partner with my clients in creating authenticity, wellness and deep contentment, in whatever area of their lives they are seeking change. The combination of giving very practical, livable tools for direct “next steps” while “holding the big picture” and then manifesting that big picture often feels like this: a new client brings me their life or life situation in a jigsaw puzzle box, they lost the lid and forgot what the picture on it looked like. I am good at knowing that picture and then guiding my clients/mentees to put all the puzzle pieces together.  

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